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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Special Nassau legislative session to address assessment

The presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature plans to hold a special session next week to consider whatever property assessment reforms are sought by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

Mangano, a Republican who ran on a platform of fixing the assessment mess, is now almost six months into his term with little to show in terms of improvements to the system.

“We can’t afford to sit here and do nothing. The price of doing nothing is bankruptcy,” Legis. Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) said through a spokeswoman late Tuesday.

Schmitt would not comment on what he thought the final plan might look like, but he said through the spokeswoman that he could support the current plan advanced by Mangano in May.

That plan would require commercial property owners to promptly file a good-faith counteroffer to the county’s assessment, or to file a certified appraisal supporting a lower value.

Property owners who did neither would be fined $5,000 if they proceeded with a challenge in an attempt to lower their tax bill by getting a lower assessment administratively or through a court challenge.

The Mangano proposal set off a rebellion by members of the Assessment Review Team he appointed in January to study the system and make recommendations by the end of June.

The ART members said they had been misled by Mangano aides, and that the $5,000 fine amounted to a “assault” on small commercial property owners.

The rebellious members of ART met again with Mangano aides late Tuesday, but no progress was reported by either side.

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