MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A tax reassessment plan that was touted five months ago as the best solution for Nassau County residents may now be torn up and replaced with a controversial new plan that could lower taxes for thousands of homeowners.
Doli and Fredy Tavares told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan on Monday that their minds are on property taxes assessed on their Baldwin home.
“Why should we have to fight it?”Doli said.
“They should just fix it, make it fair for everybody,” Fredy added.
Make it fair and equitable for every homeowner, say the Aiello family of Garden City. They were in the majority who challenged their taxes, but after complicated paperwork and legal fees saw little in return.
“The game is kind of skewed away from the homeowner, who ends up footing a large part of the bill,” Domenick Aiello said.
Still, those who challenge their assessments overwhelmingly win reductions that shift the tax burden onto the 80,000 Nassau families who don’t — the result of a system overhaul from the Mangano administration.
“I was upset when I saw this roadblock,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Curran wants to stop the bleeding, fix tax disparities and resolve challenges, but she is now considering proposing a lower rate at which homes are assessed, reneging on her original promise to keep the ratio the same.
“We need to change that. We need to make it accurate. We need a tax roll that has integrity and we need to be able to defend it in court so we don’t have to keep borrowing taxpayer money to pay it back,” Curran said.
The Rameaus of Baldwin have plenty of questions.
“I’m not sure how the money is being spent. I know a great portion of it goes toward the schooling, but it just seems out of line,” Philippe Rameau said.
Homeowners say they want relief now from an obsolete, unfair system.
“For us, both our boys are in college. We don’t mind paying to support the school system, but it’s a heavy burden,” Baldwin homeowner Hubert Guscott said.
Curran revising her executive order runs the risk of alienating the Republican majority, which agreed to the .25 assessment rate. It appears the county executive could drop that ratio without legislative approval.
The final assessment report should be presented this week, and the county executive plans to meet with legislators on both sides of the aisle.