NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Homes and businesses in Nassau County are suing for property tax refunds of $102-million that they have yet to receive.
The absent refunds could threaten the livelihood of some small business owners. Louann Vallone owns a paper converting business in Roosevelt. The business has been in her family for over 50-years.
Vallone told CBS 2′s Maurice Dubois that she risks losing the business because her $80,000 property tax refund has yet to arrive.
“We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments and changes to try to keep up. This is one of the big things that keeps me up at night,” she said.
Vallone has lost 20 employees in the last two years she has also had to put one of her warehouses up for sale. Joseph Curcio, a business owner in Hicksville understands. Curcio is owed $112,000 by Nassau County.
Curcio says that his situation has gotten so dire that the bank has gotten involved.
“When the tax refunds didn’t come at the beginning of this year, the bank put the building in foreclosure,” he said.
Attorney Laureen Harris, who represents nearly three-hundred plaintiffs with similar problems told CBS 2 that Nassau County has been dragging its feet for a while.
“We sued the treasurer. Their response has been for several months now, we have no money.”
In March, Harris asked the court to force the legislature to get involved.
So far, 10 members of the Republican majority said that they would approve, but three more votes are needed.
County attorney John Ciampoli said that the reason for the delay is political.
“The minority has thrown up a roadblock, they said they will not approve any bonding for these purposes unless they get accommodations to their personal and political benefit on reapportionment.”
Minority leaders deny these allegations.
“It’s presumptuous to assume a legislator is voting one way or the other based on a particular agenda,” said Anton Borovina, who represents minority leader Kevan Abrahams.
Vallone and Curcio told CBS 2 that they don’t care about the politics, they just want to get paid.
To me, I’m not looking at the political side. I’m just looking at black and white. The county owes me $80,000,” said Vallone.
All of the parties involved will be back in court later in April.
Is the late payment the result of political foot-dragging? Or is there another reason? Let us know in our comments section below…