Encouraged by wind power efforts
I’m a junior biology major at Stony Brook University and I’m looking at a lot more years of a climate change in my future than most legislators, editorialists or power executives. I’m relieved to see your editorial in favor of wind power, but getting our entire economy fossil free as it needs to be is still going to be a long haul [“Communities have a role in wind power,” Editorial, March 11].
We need not only to slow the growth of fossil fuel, but also to cut it back significantly, and soon. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has the right goals in place: a 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electric supply by 2030, 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power in place by 2035 and a carbon-neutral electric grid by 2040. There’s going to be more conflict as we move toward fossil-free energy across all sectors.
I welcome the sanity heralded by the Newsday editorial to get us through all the tough fights that are to come. Let Long Island be the model for how other localities manage the inevitable dislocation of changing our dirty economy to a clean, green one.
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Stony Brook University chapter of the Sierra Club environmental organization.
Concerns on Nassau reassessment
The goal of assessment is to value a property as closely as possible to its fair market value, the price the property would sell for in a normal sale. The truest fair market value is an actual sale. As I understand it, the reassessment used recent nearby sales adjusted for such things as square footage, rooms, etc. to estimate a fair market value for any property. These sales are all neighborhood sales.
Now the county is adding a neighborhood adjustment to compensate for locations that are more or less desirable [“Resetting home values,” News, Feb. 24]. This changes the estimated fair market value. I see this as double-dipping. The actual sales in the neighborhood that were used to set the fair market value before the neighborhood adjustment automatically include a neighborhood adjustment, since the actual sales occurred in the actual neighborhood.
Using a redundant neighborhood adjustment is a systematic distortion introduced by mistake during the reassessment. The neighborhood adjustment is just plain wrong. It must be removed from every reassessment.
Lewis M. Lebetkin,
The taxation system in Nassau County is built on a “fair” assessment of all our homes. Our representatives are going about telling the residents that each of them is being assessed at the market value of their homes, but if you ask each homeowner they will tell you that they cannot get that market price if they were to put their home up for sale.
If you were to grieve your assessment individually you would probably lose because the assigned market value is based on comparative home sales in your area. However, by using a tax grievance law firm they are able to bundle thousands of homeowners together and overwhelm the system. They then offer to settle with the county for an across-the-board discount. The county has no choice but to settle, or does it?
I have a modest proposal. All of our elected officials should refuse campaign contributions from these tax grievance law firms! Do not allow this practice to continue.
The database of neighborhood adjustment values, taken from the assessor’s “calculation ladder” on the Nassau County website, does not display what in my view is the single largest factor for many households: the “section block” adjustment. It raised our valuation by $135,000 at the end of the ladder. Three houses directly across the street from us had a zero increase, despite being on the same block; they are considered a different “section block.”
None of the comparable sales across the street were the same as ours; in all cases ours were much higher. Three of six comparables for our home were in a different school district.
As the county executive and assessor have stated, the highest increases are for homeowners who have successfully disputed their taxes, yet they continue to remind us that we retain the right to challenge the assessment. If we succeed again, will that trigger another increase? The county is trying to claw back all the reductions that were legally won.
Democrats should nominate a centrist
As former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas throws his hat into an already-crowded ring, it is critical that Democrats keep their eye on the ball, which is to win the presidency in 2020 [“Beto O’Rourke declares bid for president,” News, March 15]. While each of the candidates to date appeals to certain demographics or regions, we must nominate a centrist Democrat with the widest appeal, one who can rally the country and wrest away votes from undecideds and flagging supporters of President Donald Trump. Then we can put a more progressive candidate in the vice president slot.