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Republicans in Nassau want tax-challenge deadline  extended because of virus

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin poses for a

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin poses for a portrait in his office at Hempstead Town Hall on Jan. 14. Credit: Barry Sloan

Republicans who control the Nassau County Legislature are pushing to hold an emergency vote Monday to extend the deadline for tax challenges for the 2021-22 tax year from April 2 to April 30, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans filed legislation on March 13 to extend the deadline. But the bill needs to go through a committee vote, and legislative committees are not scheduled to meet until April 6, after the filing deadline. The entire legislature is meeting on Monday, and Democrats must join Republicans to provide the 13 votes needed to hold an emergency vote on extending the grievance deadline.

Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin — a frequent critic of County Executive Laura Curran's handling of the reassessment — wrote Curran on March 13 to ask her to extend the deadline to June 1. Clavin said the town had postponed taxpayer forums designed to teach residents how to challenge their assessments without hiring a tax challenge firm.

Curran, who is managing the county's response to the COVID-19 outbreak, responded to Clavin on March 17 that she would not grant his request.

"To ensure that the reduced staff can adequately manage essential workloads going forward, there will be no further extension of the grievance filing period at" the Assessment Review Commission, which has reduced its staffing levels and needs to "adequately manage essential workloads going forward."

Curran noted that the filing deadline previously had been extended with a 30-day grace period, from March 2 to April 2, and said 198,000 homeowners had already filed challenges.

"Given the reduced recreational, social and business operations and activities throughout the region, we hope residents who want to file a grievance use this time to do so. It is a simple process to complete by April 2, 2020."

 

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