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Bill lets Nassau use $100M account for commercial property refunds

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, seen here on Tuesday

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, seen here on Tuesday in New Hyde Park.  Credit: Howard Schnapp

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday signed a bill easing Nassau County’s ability to access a more than $100 million account to refund the disputed portion of assessments to commercial property owners.

The legislation revising Nassau’s “Disputed Assessment Fund” lets Nassau officials distribute tax refunds to commercial property owners in a more timely manner, county officials have said.

Officials in the administration of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran had lobbied for the bill, saying the changes would let Nassau more quickly access the funds. The bill lets Nassau charge commercial property owners an annual fee to cover the assessment refunds.

The legislation, county officials have said, would enable payments from commingled funds rather than only from an individual property owner’s deposit when filing a grievance.

Curran aides have said the legislation would help the county tackle a backlog in grieved assessment refunds that had long strained Nassau’s finances. County officials, in a multiyear plan submitted last week to the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, said the bill would “would facilitate payment of tax claims for commercial properties out of current funds.”

County officials this year have begun a reassessment of all properties after a seven-year freeze, and residents are to receive a notice of new values by early November.

Curran said in a statement Tuesday: “On behalf of every resident in Nassau County I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his support and the members of the Senate and Assembly for their leadership in getting this legislation passed. Being able to access the DAF is an important step in fixing our broken assessment system, and it could not have happened without bipartisan support both in Albany and the Nassau County Legislature.”

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said in a statement: “This legislation gives the county the flexibility it has been notoriously lacking and is a positive step toward a more fair and equitable assessment system.”

With Yancey Roy

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