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GOP wants new notices to contain Nassau reassessment impact

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signs an executive

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signs an executive order on property assessment with new County Assessor David Moog on Sept. 26 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Republicans who control the Nassau County Legislature have submitted a proposed law to require County Executive Laura Curran to disclose the potential impact of reassessment on residents’ property tax bills.

The bill stipulates that assessment disclosure notices — expected to be mailed Nov. 1 to all Nassau homeowners and businesses — include the hypothetical change in property taxes resulting from the proposed change in property values.

The notices already are expected include each property’s new market value, the new level of assessment, which is the percentage of market value the county uses to calculate assessments, and the new assessment.

For residential properties, Curran decided last week to drop the current level of assessment from .25 percent to .10 percent.

The GOP also would require the notice to indicate the new property taxes that could be generated by the new assessment, assuming tax rates and tax levies remain at their current level.

Other assessing systems outside New York City and Nassau are required by state law to indicate how tax liability will change when they complete a reassessment.

However, in Nassau, the tax changes would be hypothetical because of the county’s unusually lengthy assessment calendar.

The county’s new assessments will not be used to calculate actual taxes until the October 2020 school tax bills. Tax rates and tax levies for schools, towns and special districts are likely to change in the nearly two years between the November 2018 disclosure notices and the October 2020 school bills.

If property owners disagree with their new assessments, they can file grievances between Jan. 2 and March 1, 2019.

“The bottom line is we want transparency,” said Legis. Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore). “We want homeowners to understand what is happening, why it's happening and how they can protect themselves.”

Republicans had opposed Curran’s assessment ratio reduction, saying it could lead to sudden steep tax increases for underassessed homes. Curran has said she will ask the state to institute a five-year phase in for the new values.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said he has concerns about the bill.

“We are always for transparency. At the same time we want to make sure we present to the taxpayers something that’s accurate, something that’s realistic and something they can bank on,” said Abrahams.

“To present hypothetical numbers based on not knowing what the rates will be in two years doesn’t accomplish that,” he said.

Curran spokesman Michael Martino said the county executive also favors transparency, but the disclosure notices are already in production.

“The legislature is trying to legislate something that can’t be done right now,” Martino said. “However, the county executive fully concurs and will be providing additional information for the January tentative assessment tax roll,” to be released Jan. 2.

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