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Dispute with Mangano delays panel's assessment report

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano makes his State

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano makes his State of the County speech in Bethpage. (Mar. 15, 2010) Photo Credit: John Dunn

The dispute between Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his hand-picked panel on reforming the property tax assessment system has prevented the panel from issuing its final report on time.

The Assessment Review Team was appointed Jan. 7, and Mangano said at the time that it would have its report done by June 30.

Aides to Mangano said Friday that settling the dispute over new procedures for filing commercial assessment challenges had taken up the time of the Assessment Review Team.

"Rather than writing a report, the ART team was focused on negotiating a compromise with the county executive. Drafts exist, and a report will be issued sometime in the near future," Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said in a statement.

The political implications of the property tax issue was apparent on Tuesday when Mangano's 11 Republican colleagues on the Nassau County Legislature approved the new procedures - and all Democratic legislators boycotted the session, citing the lack of timely public notice.

The dispute, however, was over only one part of the complicated commercial system. And Mangano conceded that he must still fix the operations of the Department of Assessment so that the county gets it right the first time - the best way to cut down on appeals.

Mark Hamer, a Jericho real estate executive who chairs the Assessment Review Team, said Friday that "We definitely are going to have a report. I'm not prepared to say whether it will be unanimous."

He said the report would have specific recommendations on reorganizing the procedures of the county departments that deal with assessment.

"We'll have a report within 30 days," he said, then quickly added: "Let me say I will be disappointed if we don't have a report within 30 days."

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