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Elmont homeowner ballistic over $5,000 tax hike 

Patrick Nicolosi, an Elmont community leader, is complaining to elected officials about the increase in his property taxes due to reassessment.

Pat Nicolosi, shown outside his home in Elmont

Pat Nicolosi, shown outside his home in Elmont on March 22, said Thursday his taxes are predicted to increase according to his tax impact notice from Nassau County. Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

Longtime Elmont community leader Pat Nicolosi said Thursday he is complaining to every elected official he knows.

Why?

His tax impact notice from Nassau County, which estimates the change in his property tax bill resulting from the reassessment authorized by County Executive Laura Curran, arrived in his mail Thursday — among the first tax impact notices to be received by county residents.

Nicolosi said his taxes are predicted to go up by $5,000 a year. The market value of what he describes as his “small” dormered cape-style house on a 40-by-100 foot lot without a garage in Elmont has increased from $189,200 to $513,000.

Also, the cover letter was dated Nov. 15 — three weeks before it arrived in his mailbox.

“I could have walked from the legislative offices [in Mineola] and delivered it faster,” Nicolosi said.

“I can’t afford this increase,” said Nicolosi, 62, who is battling cancer. “I’m calling up everybody.”

He said by midafternoon Thursday he had called the offices of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo; Assemb. Michaelle C. Solages (D-Elmont); Assemb. Chuck Lavine (D-Glen Cove); Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino; Hempstead Town Tax Receiver Donald Clavin; and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

Nicolosi said he expected to call Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) next. “I plan on exploding this thing because I’m not the only one who is complaining,” said Nicolosi, who agreed to be the guest speaker at Clavin’s tax forum at the Elmont public library Thursday evening.

He added, “I’m also calling real estate and telling them if they can get me $513,000, sell it.”

Curran authorized a full reassessment of Nassau’s more than 400,000 commercial and residential properties earlier this year, with the new values expected to be included in the tentative tax roll released Jan. 1. Data indicate that taxes will increase for 52 percent of homeowners and decrease for 48 percent.

Curran spokesman Michael Martino said in an emailed statement, “The comparables used for this home are absolutely in line with Elmont’s market values. A mass appraisal is a complex undertaking involving the review of 20-100 sales in the area and changes will continue to be made.”

Martino said property owners with questions should visit the county website or make an appointment through Jan. 31 with the assessor's office.

The county legislature’s presiding officer, Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said, “Sending tax impact notices that are backdated to mid-November only adds more questions as to the competence of the administration officials in charge of the reassessment.”

The county legislature had ordered the notices mailed by Nov. 15.

Martino said, “The letters are not backdated. The tax impact notices are being mailed in batches. However, all tax impact information has been available online since November 19.”

On Friday , Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, after reading about Nicolosi’s complaint, called Newsday Friday to respond. “You can tell him now from me: I am giving him a firm offer, sight unseen, for $189,200 cash, no mortgage” for his Elmont house.

“If he feels his old assessment is fair, and that’s the true value of his house, I will buy it,” said Jacobs, who supports Curran’s reassessment. “He apparently feels the lower number is fair.”

Jacobs added, “The question for him and everybody is, do you believe you should or should not pay the full amount of taxes on the fair market value of your house. Half the people in this county have been overpaying because they have been overassessed.”

Nicolosi acknowledges that he has grieved his taxes every year, winning annual reductions. Reducing one home’s assessment essentially increases taxes for neighbors who didn’t protest.

“I didn’t create this mess,” Nicolosi said. “Both parties created this mess by telling me to challenge my assessment.”

Curran, as a county legislator, was among many elected officials who held workshops to tell homeowners how to grieve their assessments.

As for Jacobs' offer, Nicolosi responded that he would take what the county now says his house is worth: $513,000 plus his increased taxes.

“You can tell Jay for me: If you got a problem with Pat Nicolosi, you call me directly,” Nicolosi said.

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