Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

A battle between Nassau CE Edward Mangano and his own tax study team has some political implications for next year.

So far, the rebellion in the Assessment Review Team has been restricted to members who are allied with commercial building owners. They contribute to political campaigns in big numbers, but are insignificant as a voting block.

The leader of the commercial revolt, ART Chairman Mark Hamer says Mangano seems intent not on fixing the assessment system, but on manipulating the system to make it difficult for owners to file appeals. \[See Newsday story here.\]

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A bill proposed by Mangano “doesn’t do anything to answer why commercial property owners are winning these awards (refunds),” Hamer said. “What it boils down to is stop the appeals and mute the awards instead of addressing why we continue to improperly assess their properties.”

“We believe this is just the first (step) of what they intend to do,” he said. “As soon as we get through this (study) process on the commercial side, they’ll turn their attention and try to discourage filing on the residential side.”

And “residential side” = homeowners = voters.

If Mangano comes off looking like he’s trying to keep homeowners from filing appeals instead of bringing taxes under control, that will not bode well next year when members of the Nassau County Legislature run again, and Mangano's Republican colleagues seek to keep their two-seat edge.

Here’s Mangano’s statement Thursday about Hamer’s complaint:
"Nassau taxpayers have joined me in demanding a fix to our broken assessment system. I will not stand by allowing reforms to be comprised by lawyers who get rich off a broken system. Instead, I'm moving forward with real solutions that end the waste of $250 million each year."