GOP legislators claim frozen tax values don’t reflect successful challenges

Republican legislators criticized Nassau County Executive Laura Curran's administration for their handling of the 2022-23 tentative assessment roll. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Nassau County’s 2022-23 tentative tax roll did not include reductions county homeowners received in settlements, resulting in tens of thousands of residents forced to grieve their taxes, Republican legislators said on Monday.

Republican officials, including Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), once again criticized the administration of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for its handling of the reassessment of homes throughout the county.

“The administration’s failure to update its assessment roll to reflect settlements is another failure in a long line of failures in reassessment,” Nicolello said. “It is fundamentally unfair to apply a higher assessed value when the county has admitted a home is worthless. It forces residents to challenge year after year and creates an inaccurate assessment roll.”

Curran called for the reassessment of approximately 400,000 homes in 2018 after the county’s assessment roll had been frozen since 2008. During that period, thousands of residents filed grievances on the value of their homes, winning reduced assessments and shifting the tax burden onto others who did not challenge their assessments.

The 2022-23 assessment roll, released in early January, affects school and property taxes that will arrive in October 2022 along with mailed bills in January 2023. Officials said they have received complaints from residents who received tentative assessment notices that do not reflect the changes they won in the tax grievance process.

“All of this information is in the control of this administration and the Department of Assessor and for them to continue at every stage in the process is either a reflection of extraordinary sloppiness or is a reflection of an intent to mislead the public. And the bottom line is we need to know which is the case,” Legislator Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore) said.

A county spokesperson said that the county was staying consistent with the yearly timeline and said residents still have until April 30 to challenge their 2022-23 assessed home values.

“As always, state law mandates that all assessors in the state may not make any changes unilaterally to the tentative roll once published — as the 2022-2023 tentative roll was this January, which is why homeowners are encouraged to file a grievance again by April 30, 2021, if they believe their paused tentative assessed property value is not accurate,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Curran announced a freeze in property values in 2022-23 at the previous year’s level to avoid fluctuations and provide stability for residential and commercial property owners in December.

Curran said the uncertainty and chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic led to the temporary freeze of property values.

“By temporarily pausing property assessments, we can allow families and businesses a little more certainty so they can focus on the task of rebuilding their finances at a time of enormous economic uncertainty,” Curran said in December.

The spokesperson said nearly 220,000 residential grievances were filed for the 2021-22 tax year. Rhoads said he estimated that 250,000 Nassau residents would likely file grievances for the 2022-23 tax roll.

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Robert Pelaez

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