Nassau County has set new assessment values for nearly 400,000 properties, raising home values by an average of 3% from this year's tax roll in publishing a roll that will be used to calculate taxes for the 2021-22 school year.
The county published the tax roll online Thursday and will beginning mailing the new values to homeowners sometime next week, County Assessor David Moog said.
The "fair market value" that Nassau assigns to homeowners is one factor used to determine school, town and county tax bills.
In 2018, the county overhauled home values during the first reassessment in nearly a decade, using a complex computer modeling system for tax bills that will be mailed in October for school taxes and in January for general taxes.
In calculating the 2021-22 tax roll, the county used figures released a year ago as a starting point, and then raised 369,000 properties by a percentage based on market sales in individual school districts. The percentage boosts ranged from 0 to 6 percent, officials said.
High-end properties were not raised by a percentage point. Instead, values for 5,000 properties worth about $2.3 million or more were "handworked" based on several comparable market sales in the neighborhood, Moog said. Any changes would vary with the individual property.
In total, there are about 384,000 residential properties in the county.
The percentage changes also did not apply to new construction and properties with additions and major renovations, Moog said.
Moog said the assessment department published a "good roll. Even better than last year’s.”
Moog said the housing market is "still appreciating, but appreciating slower.”
He said the cap on the state and local tax deductions, passed by the federal government at the end of 2017, "affected values more so on the higher-end properties." Moog explained, "Values are still moving up. I think the low interest rates, people's desire to have good school districts, and overall demand in the county have pushed values up still." Moog said this 2021-22 roll reflects the assessment department's efforts "to keep the tax roll accurate and fair."
Jonathan Miller, president and chief executive of the Manhattan-based appraisal company Miller Samuel, said a decline in mortgage interest rates helped to make some homes more affordable to buyers, "even though affordability is declining."
Homeowners have until March 2 to file grievances for the 2021-22 tax year.
The assessment department also announced it would host forums in each of the county's 19 legislative districts to explain to homeowners how their values were derived.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement, “When our homeowners pay town, school, special district, and county taxes, they deserve assurance that the amounts they are paying are fair and equitable. I am proud to say we are now in our second year of producing more accurate, up-to-date property values utilizing the most current data available and the latest technology."
“We believe we have a more accurate roll this year than last year,” Moog said. Acknowledging clerical errors in last year's roll and notices that prompted the county to republish some values for homeowners, Moog said, “We felt that we learned from our mishaps from last year, and we’re trying to minimize that this year." He cited the work of a "quality assurance unit" that "was a very big plus for us to make sure things were [quality controlled] and looked over.”
Also, the assessment department sent flyover cameras to map the exteriors of homes, and keep track of inventory three times during the year — with and without leaves on homes — to track the status of major construction changes on the outside of homes, such as the building new dormers or decks.
Miller, who writes the Long Island market sales report for Douglas Elliman, said the median sales price in Nassau County rose 2.2 percent, from $535,000 to a record of high of $547,000 between the end of September 2018 and September 2019.
Samuels said, “The reason that we’ve continued to see rising overall median sales price is because of the chronic shortage of listing inventory, which is a national problem, and that is keeping the pressure on the market."
An increase in market value does not necessarily equate to a rise in property taxes. Last year, most homes' values were raised during the reassessment because a nearly decadelong freeze of values and the granting of mass settlements resulted in artificially low values. Those who did not grieve their taxes frequently over the past decade generally will see their tax bills decline in the 2020-21 tax year.