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Letters: No way to win on local tax bills

The Nassau County Assessor's office in Mineola.

The Nassau County Assessor's office in Mineola. Credit: Charles Eckert

By now, every homeowner in Nassau County should have received the latest general tax bill. And if the homeowner signed up with one of those tax-grievance law firms, he or she probably also got another bill for 50 percent of his supposed tax savings. What a shock this second bill is!

Real estate taxes are computed by multiplying assessed value by the county's general tax rate and your school district's tax rate. If you win your tax grievance, your assessed value goes down. Yay!

However, Nassau County and the school district still want to collect the same amount of total revenue. So they increase their tax rates to make up for the decrease in assessed value. No surprise there. Your total net taxes may go down a little, but -- and this is the reason for my letter -- not as much as the tax-grievance firm claims you saved. They want to be paid 50 percent of the decrease in assessed value multiplied by the latest, and higher, tax rate.

A friend told me his actual taxes went down by $600, but the bill from the law firm claims it saved him $1,000, so it wants to be paid $500. He sure doesn't feel like he saved anything.

Neither my friend nor I want to file a grievance again, but as the saying goes, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. We know that if we don't sign up, our taxes will definitely go up. The system stinks.

John Campanella, Albertson

My latest tax bill has increased about 10 percent over last year.

When the Tanger Outlet Center was proposed for Deer Park, I attended the meetings held by officials. The people were assured that taxes from the mall would help hold down residential tax bills. What a joke this has turned out to be.

Could it be that politicians exaggerate or don't always tell the truth?

Charles Romano, Deer Park