59° Good Afternoon
59° Good Afternoon

Letter: Grievance fees not the real problem

Nassau County Legis. Howard Kopel on June 13,

Nassau County Legis. Howard Kopel on June 13, 2013. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Your article misses some of the real issues ["Nassau Tax grievances: New system profits firms," News, Aug. 16]. No one disputes that the assessment system does not function well enough or that we should fix it. If assessments were more accurate, no one would need to file grievances.

Other officials and I run seminars to encourage and inform citizens to file. Blaming consultants and attorneys focuses on a symptom, not the problem. It should surprise no one that experts get better results than do-it-yourselfers. I'm a lawyer conversant with assessments, but I use an attorney to help me file. And there is nothing sinister about a service-provider seeking clients.

Newsday ignores the real problems, which are, in large measure, caused by New York State, including unfunded mandates, unfair school-aid formulas, and the so-called "county guarantee," which has burdened Nassau County with the responsibility for refunds for taxes paid to other jurisdictions. Less than 20 percent of real estate taxes go to the county.

Insinuating favoritism because of campaign donations to both parties doesn't help deal with the real problem -- taxes are too high! It begs the real question of what to do about it.

Legis. Howard J. Kopel, Lawrence

Editor's note: The writer is a Republican representing the Nassau legislature's 7th District.


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