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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Nassau County Department of Assessment in Mineola

The Nassau County Department of Assessment in Mineola on Jan 12, 2017. Tax payers come to the office if they have questions about their property taxes. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Getting control over rising school taxes

When we were working to put a cap on Long Island’s exorbitant school taxes, I fought against the exemption for bond debt, fearing the otherwise good law would become another phony reform [“School taxes on LI to rise 2.6%,” News, March 11]. I felt other school reforms in the past had been phony..

There’s no need to win an override vote on piercing the tax cap, because the bond debt exemption allows schools to raise spending more than 2 percent.

This is turning the cap into a joke. We better wake up before Long Island becomes unlivable for everyone but the unionized public sector elite whose salaries come from school district taxes.

Andrea Vecchio, East Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is an activist with the taxpayer groups East Islip TaxPAC and Long Islanders for Educational Reform.

How to reform Nassau assessment

Nassau County needs to change its property tax appeals process [“Assessment deal stalls,” News column, March 8].

I suggest that people who appeal be required to submit a deposit equal to one-tenth of 1 percent of the current assessed value of the property. For example, if the assessment is $400,000, the deposit would be $400.

If the appeal is successful in reducing the current assessment by 10 percent or more, then the deposit would be refunded in full. This could be prorated. If the assessment is reduced by 5 percent, for example, then 50 percent of the deposit would be refunded, and the county would retain the rest.

If the original assessment was determined to be correct, then the applicant would forfeit the deposit. Think of it as a fee for wasting time over a frivolous appeal.

The current system promotes a mentality of what do I have to lose? Having to put some money at risk would cause many people to think twice about whether their assessed value is really too high.

This idea would dramatically relieve the burden on the county of having to process the thousands of appeals every year. And it could provide some much-needed fiscal relief.

Jim Freel, Garden City

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