TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
OpinionLetters

LIRR fares and how Nassau sets its tax rate

A conductor punches tickets on an LIRR train.

A conductor punches tickets on an LIRR train. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

LIRR should pattern fares after London

Have any Long Island Rail Road executives taken a ride on the London Tube? They should.

There are no fare collectors on the super-efficient trains — because they are not needed ["LIRR eyes new ticket plans," News, July 12].

One buys an "Oyster card" from a vending machine that has employees standing alongside helping customers. One can add any sum of money, enter and exit through turnstiles, and the fare is calculated. No need for wasted monthly tickets. The LIRR needs a trip to London.

— Elizabeth Leyser, Hicksville

Nassau tax rate is based on math

A reader shows how Nassau County’s tax assessment system is not understood ["Tax rate is the key, not assessed value," Letters, July 13]. He writes, "It seems as if the Department of Assessment knows how much money the schools need and adjusts the tax rate to offset any reduction in assessed value, ensuring the schools get all the money they ask for." He seems to think that the DOA can just set any tax rate it wants.

The rate is a calculation: divide the total assessed value into the tax levy (what the schools ask for). The tax rate can’t be adjusted by the DOA.

Rates rose during the previous administration because, with the assessment freeze, the total assessed value kept getting reduced as grievance reductions were handed out, forcing rates higher. The reason that rates jumped in 2020-21 was due to the phase-in exemptions greatly reducing the total assessed value. As phase-in exemptions are reduced and value is restored to the tax rolls, the rates should actually come down.

The focus is on assessments because they need to be accurate to ensure that each property owner pays a fair share. Former County Executive Edward Mangano caused assessments to be wildly out of whack. That is now being fixed.

— Scott Diamond, Levittown

Columns