Republican Hempstead Tax Receiver Don Clavin declared victory last week after Democratic Nassau County Executive Laura Curran appeared to bow to pressure from Clavin and County Legis. Laura Schaefer (R-Westbury) to notify property owners by mail of assessment changes rather than post revisions online.
But Curran spokesman Michael Martino insisted the administration always planned to mail notices in January after a countywide reassessment is completed.
Martino blamed the previous Republican administration for telling property owners the revised values would only be posted online — even though the misinformation remained posted online for months after Curran took office Jan. 1.
For years, Nassau had mailed notices of assessment to Nassau’s 423,000 property owners on Jan. 2 when the county’s tentative assessment roll is released and a two-month grievance period begins.
But those letters, received in February this year, included a warning that also was posted on the county website through May: “SPECIAL NOTICE: To significantly reduce operating costs, the Department of Assessment will no longer produce and mail Notices of Tentative Assessed Value to homeowners and businesses beginning January 2, 2019. Property owners will still be able to access and view their property’s updated assessed value and annual notice on our website: www.mynassauproperty.com.”
At a news conference two weeks ago, Clavin and Schaffer denounced the move as a “taxpayer-hostile initiative” that would hurt seniors, the poor and others without ready access to the internet. They urged the county to reverse its plans.
After Curran Martino said Curran always planned to continue mailing, Clavin declared, “This is great news and a great victory for all the residents in Nassau County. County officials listened to Legis. Schaffer and me and residents who joined in wanting these mailed to them.”
Martino responded, “If the tax collector wants to take credit for a victory that doesn’t exist, that’s fine. There was never any intention to not mail to homeowners. That decision not to mail was made before Laura Curran took office. She changed that.”