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Letter: Property claims belong in NYS court


Gavel. Credit: Newsday, 2003 / Jim Peppler

I was fascinated by Newsday's reporting regarding Nassau County's Small Claims Assessment Review process ["Nassau tax grievances," News, Aug. 16]. Please be advised that the process falls under New York State's real property law.

Nassau County officials have no right in law to adjudicate official State of New York taxpayer filings. That is the reason the law was passed in the first place, so that taxpayers would be afforded, for a small fee, the opportunity to be heard by an independent judge. This law was intended to provide independent fairness.

I'm bemused that the good justices of the New York State Supreme Court in Mineola would so easily abdicate their lawful responsibilities and just hand over these state filings to County Executive Edward Mangano.

Nassau County officials and private representatives have no lawful jurisdiction in these cases. I would dearly like to know what the state Office of Court Administration has by way of a plausible explanation to the public of its clear dereliction of duty toward the hapless property owners of Nassau County. I find these public shenanigans over Nassau County's sad excuse of an assessment roll very troubling. The solution is clear. Nassau County must divide the roll into the three townships immediately.

Suzanne Murphy, Southampton

Editor's note: The writer served as a small claims hearing officer and judge for 20 years in Mineola.