LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New property assessments are in the mail for Nassau County’s 1.5 million residents, and that means taxes could be going up or down.
But confused residents who were just reassessed last year are asking why again, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Wednesday.
Scott Diamond answers a flood of questions on a Nassau taxpayer group page he manages.
“There is a lot of confusion,” Diamond said.
That’s because just last year there was a county-wide reassessment to fix property values that had been frozen and broken for years.
So why are new assessments in the mail again? Because Nassau is now reassessing property every year. County Executive Laura Curran said they are as close to accurate as possible, but tweaked annually by now-qualified assessors.
“Each year we are looking at trends and we’re making sure the assessment is in line with what’s happening in the real world, with fair market value,” Curran said.
It’s necessary to keep property values current, but critics don’t like the timing.
“Let’s say you’ve challenged your assessment and your challenge is currently pending before the county. The county is now coming out with a new assessment before your challenge was ever heard. It’s very confusing to the homeowners and the county has done a very poor job of explaining it,” said Richard J. Nicolello, the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature.
Adding to the confusion, bills are also arriving from private tax grievance companies for money saved from 2018, even though taxes may have stayed the same.
“Many people didn’t realize the savings. That’s very clear. But they would have paid more had they not hired someone to do it in the first place,” said Jeff Gold, founder of the Facebook group Nassau Grieve Your Tax Assessment — Free.
It was a system so broken, it all but guaranteed anyone who filed a grievance would win, creating a $500 million grievance firm industry. Gold, a tax expert, said finally residents won’t have to grieve.
“The system before was the worst system in the state and right now, if not this year by next year, we will be the best. The rolls are really that accurate,” Gold said.
You can still grieve this years assessments, until April 1. However, reductions will no longer be rubber stamped. The county will now defend itself and argue once wildly inaccurate home values are now correct.
The Nassau County executive would like the new tax assessments phased in over five years. The issue will be debated in the Legislature on the evening of March 4.