A neighborhood of houses in Mineola on March 1, 2020.

A neighborhood of houses in Mineola on March 1, 2020. Credit: Newsday/John Keating

Nassau property owners will have until April 30 to challenge their tax assessments, thanks to an extension approved Monday by the county legislature.

All 19 lawmakers voted for an emergency resolution to give taxpayers a grace period beyond the March 1 deadline to dispute the 2023-24 assessed values of their properties with the county's Assessment Review Commission.

Majority Republican legislators said the move was necessary because of a January delay mailing out tentative assessment letters. Republicans said there were 160,000 errors found in assessment letters from the administration of former County Executive Laura Curran.

Curran, a Democrat, lost her bid for reelection in November to Republican Bruce Blakeman, who vowed to "fix" her controversial countywide reassessment program.

Curran froze the 2023-24 residential tax rolls in an effort to prevent sharp swings in assessments caused by the county's hot housing market.

In a statement, Blakeman said "we all know the many problems that exist within the assessment system." Blakeman did not provide information about what caused last month's delay in mailing out the letters.

Administration officials said Monday about 20,000 assessment letters were sent out a day late. Tentative assessments also are posted online.

Nassau legislator Kevan Abrahams during committee meetings at the Nassau...

Nassau legislator Kevan Abrahams during committee meetings at the Nassau County Legislature on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

"By failing to send out the letters closer to the beginning of the year, they will have shortened the challenge period for almost all county residents," said Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park).

Steven Rhoads (R-Wantagh) said: "I don't want to leave anyone with the impression that the lateness was the responsibility of this administration. They are kind of having to fix what they inherited."

At the meeting Monday, Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) asked whether all assessment letters have been sent out. Abrahams said he has heard from constituents who have not received notices.

Afterward, Blakeman spokesman Christopher Boyle said all letters had been mailed.

Legis. Kevan Abrahams, minority leader of the Nassau County Legislature,...

Legis. Kevan Abrahams, minority leader of the Nassau County Legislature, was among Democrats who voted on Monday to delay votes on cuts to county fees. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Abrahams and Minority Democrats asked the Blakeman administration on Jan. 31 to move the grievance deadline to May 2, citing pandemic recovery and the disruption in the housing market as the primary reasons.

"We are glad that the County Executive and the Majority heeded our call to ensure that property owners have every opportunity to robustly exercise their rights," Abrahams said.

Also Monday, more names of Blakeman appointees became available, including Jill Nevin as the new commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

Her husband, Brian Nevin, a senior policy advisor in the Town of Oyster Bay, served as spokesman for former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

Jill Nevin was among 14 appointees for key positions in the Blakeman administration who advanced through the Rules Committee.

Nassau County Presiding officer Richard J. Nicolello. Official inauguration ceremony...

Nassau County Presiding officer Richard J. Nicolello. Official inauguration ceremony for North Hempstead's newly elected officials. Clinton G.Martin Park. Sunday January 02, 2022 Credit: Howard Simmons

Democratic spokesman Danny Schrafel called her appointment "the latest in an unfortunate pattern of questionable picks for crucial roles in the new administration."

"Nassau's most vulnerable residents rely on the Department of Human Services for crucial, life-sustaining resources" Schrafel said. "This position demands an experienced, qualified leader — not a political insider in need of extensive on-the-job training."

Nicolello, however, said he believed she was "very qualified" and Republicans "don't see a conflict at all."

"The fact that her husband is a policy director in another municipality is not an issue for us," Nicolello said. "There is simply no connection."

The appointees will be considered by the full legislature in confirmation hearings on Feb. 28.

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