ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - School tax bills come twice a year.
In Nassau County, the first half is arriving now, reflecting new valuations, following the controversial property tax assessment, and more than half of those bills are going up.
As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports, the Kelleher family of Rockville Centre got some sticker shock when their school tax bill arrived.
"When we got the bill, it actually went up $800. So it's a hole in our budget that's already tight. College is expensive," said homeowner Charles Kelleher.
"I feel really bad. We are doing all that we can. Hopefully I can contribute some too," said college sophomore Erin Kelleher.
Sixty five percent of Nassau County homeowners will pay more in school taxes this year - the most direct impact of the county-wide property reassessment. Tax rolls had been frozen for eight years under the Mangano administration resulting in uneven distribution of the property tax burden.
"We had a broken and corrupted tax assessment system and I campaigned to fix it," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
Nassau County Assessor David Moog defended the new home values as fair and accurate. But Republicans and many homeowners continue to blast the results.
"Calling for the immediate termination of the county assessor and calling on the county executive to take responsibility," Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin said.
"What we're gonna continue to do on the county level, and the majority in the legislature, is fight for accuracy, fairness and transparency at every step of the process," said Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti.
"The noise that you hear comes from the same group of people who were just content to sit by and let this thing continue to rot," Curran said.
The Curran administration says more than 10% of the tax hikes stem not from reassessment, but from budget decisions of school districts, many of which raise tax levies annually.
"We need our elected officials to work out in a more cooperative manner," said Rockville Centre homeowner Christine Quigley.
Now it will cost more to live in one of the safest counties in the country with one of the best school districts in the country.
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