Nassau homeowners can file property tax grievances through April 23 - more than a month past the March 1 deadline - after officials determined that as many as 12,000 notices of new assessment were mailed late.
After receiving calls from residents who said they had received as little as seven days' notice, County Executive Edward Mangano announced Wednesday that he was extending the deadline for the first time ever.
Letters notifying more than 400,000 Nassau property owners of their new assessments usually go out in early January. Mangano said most went out on time, but 12,000 were damaged in the printing process and were mailed out again later.
"Everyone agreed that they should have more time," Mangano said of property owners.
Mangano said he picked the new deadline because April 23 was the 2010 state Tax Freedom Day - the date when taxpayers have earned enough to pay off their state tax bill for the year.
Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Donald Clavin, who had reported receiving complaints about late or missing notices, praised Mangano's decision. "Every resident deserves the right to challenge their assessment and deserves a fair amount of time to do so," Clavin said. "I already received two phone calls this morning from residents who did not get their letters and felt they missed their opportunity . . . I told them about the extension and they were elated."
Democratic legislators also applauded the extension, contending their public complaints had pressured Mangano. Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) added that he hoped residents who rushed to comply with the March 1 deadline would be given an opportunity to submit supplemental information.
A spokeswoman said Mangano made the decision on his own, based on calls he received. She said residents can always submit additional data.
Protests must be postmarked by April 23. The county's website will accept them until 11:59 p.m.