Watch CBS News

Nassau County Taxpayers Shocked By First Bills After Massive Reassessment: 'It's Unfeasible'

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It was a massive undertaking to fairly reassess all of the homes in Nassau County after decades of an inaccurate tax roll.

The first bills are now out, and some taxpayers say it's not fair to them, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

When they moved into a new Plainview development last year, residents like the Blattbergs thought property taxes on their two-bedroom apartment would be around $20,000. Instead, it's $36,000.

"You say, oh, this can't be real. They'll fix it. This is so absurd," Kyla Blattberg said. "Nobody would buy and nobody will be able to sell."

"It had to be a typo. It couldn't be real, and it is a fantasy that needs to be corrected," Bruce Blattberg said.

It's no mistake. New construction is now taxed at a higher rate in Nassau County after reassessment.

RELATED STORY -- Nassau County Judge Dismisses Property Tax Lawsuit Claiming New Assessments Violate Constitutional Rights

Taxes are up for veteran Donald Patane in Levittown, too. His house is not new, but his taxes are $800 a year higher for five years.

"I wouldn't mind a 3%, 5% increase but almost 10%... And this is only the first year, we are looking at another five years of increases," Patane said.

They are the unintended losers in an overhaul designed to fix a broken system.

For years, Nassau home values were wildly inaccurate. Those who grieved won rubber-stamped reductions. Those who did not unfairly paid more. With the first tax bills since reassessment now coming due, critics say it's still flawed.

"You're seeing veterans, seniors, people that are most vulnerable getting hit with massive increases in year one of the county executive's reassessment with more to come," Nassau Legislator John Ferretti said.

Legislators will hold a hearing Monday to investigate how 65% of Nassau homes have gone up and only 35% down.

RELATED STORY -- Pushback Over Nassau County's New Property Tax Reassessment As Homeowners Get School Tax Bills

The county, in part, blames school districts for raising taxes.

"The administration remains committed to a fair and equitable assessment process. To put it into perspective, if school budgets remained flat, the percentages would be much closer to a 50-50 split. Approximately 11% of the total tax increases this year stem from increases in school districts budgets," County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement.

The majority of tax changes are under $500.

As for the whopping increases in new construction...

"It's unfeasible. We are seniors," Kyla Blattberg said.

That fix must come from Albany.

Curran released the following statement regarding new construction protection --

"The County Executive is working closely with the state to move legislation that would phase in increases in home value as a result of new construction or renovations to protect residents from drastic increases in taxes. County Executive Curran is committed to securing a solution that protects these homeowners while also incentivizing new construction in Nassau - providing a much-needed boost for our local economy as we work to recover from the pandemic."

"You can look down the block. You're gonna see 'for sale' signs everywhere you go," Ferretti said.

RELATED STORY -- Nassau County Homeowners Get A Break From Property Value Assessments

Curran has said her five-year phase-in was intended to give those who have long paid less than their share time to adjust to reality.

Curran also released the following statement about the pause on property assessment updates --

"Due to the instability of Nassau County's real estate market caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the continued economic hardships homeowners and businesses face, County Executive Laura Curran has paused property valuation updates for the 2022-2023 assessment roll. Therefore, unless you have since received a correction of error or an assessment reduction, your property assessment should be the same as the previous tax year, which protects against an assessment update based on the current chaotic real estate market with very high sales prices for residential homes and low ones for commercial properties."

State senators are drafting legislation to exempt some of Nassau's new construction developments from these onerous tax increases.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.