Letter: Nassau assessments remain a mess

On their first day as homeowners, Alberto and On their first day as homeowners, Alberto and Dolfania Polanco look over their closing papers. The couple recently found out from their real estate agent that they are qualified to grieve their property taxes on their newly purchased home. (July 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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Individual challenges to Nassau County's assessment system illustrate the propensity of more homeowners, particularly from less-expensive neighborhoods, to file protests regarding their assessments ["Unequal returns in Nassau," News, July 29].

There are two points to consider:

The market value of a home in Nassau County is directly proportional to the quality of the school district where a house is located, a factor that assessors often fail to notice.

About 20 percent of the homes in Nassau County are underassessed. By failing to correct or raise assessments where warranted, homes that are correctly assessed become overassessed by comparison.

Newsday notes that if a homeowner protests his or her assessment and the claim is denied, the county, as a result of the inquiry, cannot increase the assessment even if it's clearly warranted.

The assessor might be interested in inquiring about the true cost of all residences sold over the past few years with an indicated sales price of $999,000.

Leo F. McGinity

BaldwinEditor's note: The writer is a retired justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department.

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