Letter: Nassau's low abuse of STAR program

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. (Credit: Newsday, 2012 / Audrey C. Tiernan )

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Newsday's coverage of the state's School Tax Relief program might leave the reader with the impression that Nassau County is somehow failing when it comes to identifying improper STAR filings ["Trouble with STAR: State audit shows $640M in overpayments," News, March 1].

What the story neglected to mention was that the state comptroller's written recommendation to state policymakers declared that other municipalities should be required to use a unique identifier such as a Social Security number, like the one used in Nassau County and in the State of Florida, to more easily monitor exemptions.

As a result of the Department of Assessment's proactive and long-standing policies, Nassau had the lowest single-digit percentage of actual or duplicate or improper exemptions filings for any assessing jurisdiction reflected in the comptroller's audit.

It must be pointed out that, out of the 150 applications sampled, the 12 flagged had more to do with the state not reporting changes of household income -- based on state income tax returns -- to the county, rather than abuse.

James E. Davis, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is the acting Nassau County assessor.

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