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Nassau taxpayers get extra 30 days until March 12 to pay first-half taxes

The Nassau County Department of Assessment office in

The Nassau County Department of Assessment office in Mineola. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Nassau County taxpayers have an extra 30 days, until March 12, to pay their first-half general taxes without interest or penalty after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo granted the extension on Thursday.

The prior deadline was Feb. 10. On Monday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran called on Cuomo to extend the deadline after Nassau’s assessment department acknowledged it had failed to properly apply a crucial property tax exemption to 5,500 veterans and clergy members.

The county is moving quickly to notify the 5,500 affected property owners of their overcharges, and make sure the homeowners receive new tax bills from the town tax receivers. The county will need to refund homeowners who already paid their bills to the towns.

Curran said in a statement, "I hope this provides some breathing room for struggling homeowners as the pandemic continues to take its toll. I will continue to do everything I can to ease tax burdens whenever and wherever possible."

Under state law known as the "county guaranty," Nassau is responsible for all overcharges to taxpayers. Nassau's refund liability could reach a total of $5.6 million, according to legislative documents, and the county is racing to resolve the issue to prevent a large liability.

The county has created a hotline at 516-571-4811 for taxpayers with questions about their bills. Deputy Assessor Robert Miles on Tuesday promised an aggressive outreach effort to reach thousands of residents.

County officials have blamed issues with the assessment department's aging computer system for failing to properly apply the "phase-in" exemption, which spreads tax burden changes over a five-year period.

Republican town officials also cited their outreach in urging the extension.

Oyster Bay Town Receiver of Taxes Jeffrey Pravato, writing on Facebook, blasted "the incompetence and errors created by the County Executives Assessment Department."

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