Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, with Gregory Hild, announces...

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, with Gregory Hild, announces changes in the county's tax assessment system at a news conference in Mineola. (Jan. 3, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

This year, Nassau property tax payers begin their first four-year cycle of assessments with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's promise that their newest estimates will reflect any reduction gained over the past two years through a grievance or the courts.

"And if that doesn't happen for some reason, then call 516-571-1500 and it will be straightened out," Mangano said Monday, adding that all assessments should be the lowest possible.

Mangano is putting these reductions on the tax records quickly, he said, because previously if a taxpayer won their assessment challenge, then the old assessment or a higher one would be given the following year. Taxpayers would then challenge the assessment again, which would cost the county and the taxpayer in time and money.

Mangano, a Republican, was speaking at a news conference at the county executive and legislative building in Mineola, talking about "his efforts to completely reform" Nassau's broken and costly property tax assessment system as part of the mission he laid out last year.

But county Legis. Wayne H. Wink Jr. (D-Roslyn), later said Mangano has not gone far enough.

"The biggest problem is that in any given year the county's Assessment Review Commission does not substantively review a great many of the tax challenges and, as a result, thousands of them end up in court, costing the county millions of dollars," he said. "That needs to be fixed."

Mangano's Assessment Review Commission Commissioner Darlene Harris, though, said that body "made a determination on all 110,000 grievances filed in 2010, including an offer of reduction to 55,000 of them. [But] because not all grievants are satisfied with our determination, many often seek a court judgment." She added that 42,000 cases were ultimately denied by the commission or the courts.

Mangano also reminded property owners to file any challenge to their assessment by the March 1 deadline.

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