JERICHO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Some taxpayers say they are angry and confused over the new numbers rolled out in Nassau County's long overdue and broken tax reassessment plan.
County Executive Laura Curran's administration recently posted new assessment values for every county property. In all, 424,000 residential and commercial owners will be getting the tentative 2020-21 tax year assessments in the mail beginning next week.
It is expected that 48 percent will see a decrease and 52 percent will see an increase. Many residents are furious, saying they have received inaccurate notices, are confused over how the county assessor's office arrived at the new values, and that they have been victims of poor communication during the entire process.
"Anguish. There are a lot of friends of mine who are fearful that they will not be able to remain in their homes," Jericho homeowner Elinor Haber said. "Nothing has been done for seniors who have retired and are on fixed incomes, whether its pensions, Social Security and some RMDs from IRAs, which have eventually gone down because of the market."
Curran tried to clear up some of the confusion by urging residents with questions to talk to people with answers.
"Well, we have situations where people might see their assessment, their market, value double or increase dramatically, but their taxes are staying the same, or, in fact, going down," Curran said. "People are surprised to see that. So, if they have any questions, please go to askthecountyassessor.com, get the right information, make an appointment, arm yourself with the facts."
Curran explained that Nassau has borrowed more than $1 billion to pay for successful tax challenges from individuals and their companies that grieve taxes. The 48 percent who didn't grieve shouldered a disproportionate share of the tax burden and overpaid, under the freeze instituted under former Executive Ed Mangano.
In fairness to homeowners who have been forced to endure a broken system, she is urging state legislators to publicly commit to a law that would smooth out and phase in increases over five years.
"I think we have to have a conversation as to exactly what the details are of this," said state Assemblyman Ed Ra, a Republican who represents the 19th Legislative District. "There have been some other jurisdictions that have done some type of phase-in, particularly in Westchester County a few years ago, but much smaller jurisdiction, they were done over three years and they were done to a full phase-in as this is proposed to be. So, I think what we really want to see is what the details of this phase-in are so that we can properly evaluate how it's going to affect our constituents."
Taxpayers have until March 1 to file grievances, although that may be extended to April 30. Challenges can be submitted online or on paper.
If you believe your assessed value is too high, compared to similar homes in your area, you have the right to grieve. To make an appointment, please click here.
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