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Long IslandNassau

Hempstead cites 800 errors in county assessment roll

Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Don Clavin.

Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Don Clavin. Photo Credit: David Pokress, 2011

Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Don Clavin complained Friday that Nassau’s assessment roll contains hundreds of errors that are resulting in residents being charged property taxes for services they do not receive.

Clavin said county assessment officials confirmed Friday that there were about 800 errors on the roll that is used to generate bills for county, town and special district taxes.

Clavin said he had received complaints from Lido Beach residents that they were being taxed for as many as three fire districts — Lido Beach, Uniondale and Baldwin — when they only receive services from Lido Beach.

“It’s bad enough that Nassau residents already have to pay high taxes,” Clavin said in an interview. “Now because of the county’s errors, they’re paying the wrong amount.”

Acting County Assessor James Davis acknowledged computer-generated errors that the county legislature will be asked to correct on Monday.

“Due to the fact that certain parcels were not paying directly to the sewer funds, the Department of Assessment was directed to include parcels into specific sewer districts on the tax rolls,” Davis said.

“As a result, the County’s ADAPT computer system had incorrectly added erroneous special districts to approximately 800 properties in the Lido Beach and Sea Cliff area,” he said in a statement.

Clavin’s complaint follows other problems with the county assessment roll.

Hempstead sued last month after Nassau made last-minute changes to the roll that resulted in town tax receivers getting data late, on Dec. 29. The tax receivers usually mail the general tax bill the first week in January.

The assessor had adjusted the roll to remove properties owned by the Long Island Power Authority and operated by PSEG-LI. LIPA maintains it should only make payments in lieu of taxes and any increases should be capped at 2 percent. A deputy assessor told the county legislature that the assessment changes were completed by 3 p.m. Dec. 21. The legislature approved the amended roll by emergency the next day.

The town settled its lawsuit by agreeing to accept the county’s data but also by giving Hempstead Town residents 20 extra days to pay the first half of the general tax bill without penalty. The first half is usually due Feb. 10, but Hempstead property owners have until March 1 to pay.

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