Leslie Spitzkoff stands with her tax bill inside her office...

Leslie Spitzkoff stands with her tax bill inside her office in Roslyn Heights. (Oct. 5, 2012) Credit: Steve Pfost

When it comes to reporting on increasing taxes , Newsday seems determined to blame the county and assessments for school property tax increases that plague homeowners each year.

Nassau County uses the same assessment roll that school districts use to calculate a property's tax share; yet, it's the school portion of the tax bill that increases. The reason: County Executive Edward Mangano continues to submit budgets that do not increase spending.

Simply stated, school spending is out of control and causing taxes to skyrocket. Even a 2 percent increase is a burden that cannot be afforded by our residents. Also, a 2 percent levy increase does not equate to a 2 percent tax bill increase. This point is not always understood.

The county's assessment system is one of the most transparent in the state. Detailed property and tax information is posted on the Department of Assessment's website, and assessment disclosure notices are provided to all homeowners annually.

In April, the school districts have the preliminary taxable assessed values to provide their residents a reasonably close estimate of the tax rates. If residents were to go to Nassau County's website to see their final 2013 assessed value, they could easily determine their estimated 2013 school tax bill. This estimate will be close to their final bill, and they will have a reasonable estimate before the school budget vote in May.

Jim Davis, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is the acting assessor for Nassau County.