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Questions on Nassau tax protest deadline

As Tuesday's deadline looms for filing property tax protests in Nassau, some elected officials are questioning whether homeowners and businesses received enough notice about their new assessments, issued Jan. 2.

They say some homeowners did not receive letters, which generally go out in early January, about their new values until a week or so ago, making it difficult to research and file a property tax challenge on time.

Hempstead Tax Receiver Donald Clavin has been holding tax forums throughout the town. "I've had a number of residents who have approached me, saying they just got this letter," said Clavin, a Republican.

Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) said Friday that he still hadn't gotten his letter. "Conscientious taxpayers who want to review the letter before they challenge are being disenfranchised here," Wink said.

But Acting Nassau Assessor Jim Davis insists there was no delay in mailing out notices to the more than 400,000 county property owners.

"All the letters had gone out by the end of January," he said. "A few went out in the beginning of February. We stagger them so that we don't get overwhelmed with phone calls."

Davis acknowledged that 12,000 notices had been damaged during the printing process, but he said they had been redone. By law, he said, the county must give 10 days' notice before the end of the protest filing period. He noted the new assessments have been available on the county website since Jan. 3.

"Everybody has their right to grieve and we would never hamper that effort," Davis said.

However, Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) said residents in his district didn't get the letters until Feb. 12, the day he got his. Instead of two months to review the numbers as some others did, he said, "they were only given a two-week period."

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