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Amityville village OKs assessment changes

Amityville Village Hall in 2014.

Amityville Village Hall in 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Amityville Village trustees on Monday night approved a plan to create a Board of Assessment, adopting a practice followed by most villages on Long Island.

The village’s trustees now perform the role, ruling on contested property tax assessments for both residential and commercial properties and overseeing an annual tax grievance day of case hearings.

Trustee Nick LaLota, who proposed the change, said that dual responsibility creates a potential conflict of interest.

“We have to make sure the village’s finances are healthy, but we also want to satisfy our constituents,” he said.

Trustees approved the move by a 5-0 vote, but some details about who can serve on the three-person board must be settled before it is established in the fall.

Real estate agents, for example, could be barred because they would face their own conflicts of interest, LaLota said.

Trustees could also appoint an alternate for cases where an assessment board member recuses himself, trustee Kevin Smith said.

Assessment board members would serve about 5 to 20 hours a year and would be paid for their time, though no salary has been set.

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