Nassau County Assessor David Moog will leave his post and be moved to another department, officials said Tuesday.
Officials said Moog, who was hired by the county in June 2018, will take on a new advisory role in the county’s budget office for health reasons. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran appointed Robin Laveman, chairperson of the county’s Assessment Review Commission, to replace Moog, making her the first woman to hold the position in the department’s history.
“Ms. Laveman is extremely qualified to take on this new role, having overhauled the Assessment Review Commission’s outdated operations and streamlining processes and procedures,” Curran said. “She also ensured transparency and accessibility for residents by implementing various outreach and education opportunities.”
Curran thanked Moog for his service despite the criticism he and the Department of Assessment has received from residents over property reassessments conducted by the county over the past two years.
“I am grateful to him and his team for taking on the challenge of the first reassessment in nearly a decade and his commitment to ensuring fairness and accuracy for homeowners,” Curran said.
Laveman has served as chairperson for the review commission, which considers challenges to the values set by the Department of Assessment, since 2015. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in management from Binghamton University before attending law school at Hofstra University.
Laveman’s appointment must be approved by the Republican-controlled County Legislature.
According to Newsday, Laveman won at least five reassessment challenges on her home in Oyster Bay Cove, which reportedly cut her assessment by 24 percent and saved thousands of dollars in property taxes.
Efforts to reach Laveman for comment were unavailing.
While Curran touted Laveman’s experience, Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) and the legislative majority claimed Laveman “does not have the necessary qualifications as determined by the County Executive’s criticism of past assessors.”
Republican officials said Laveman’s lack of certification from the International Institue of Assessing Officers was concerning. According to the county’s charter, an assessor has 36 months within beginning a term as county assessor to become certified. Other requirements for the county assessor include a degree from an accredited four-year college and one year of “satisfactory full-time paid experience in an occupation involving the valuation of real property.”
The majority also called for the county assessor to be elected rather appointed by the county executive. Republican officials said the people should decide who should lead the charge in the ongoing reassessment, which has resulted in property tax increases to 65 percent of county homeowners.
“It is clear from the county executive’s attempt to appoint someone who lacks assessing experience and certifications, that the only question is whether Nassau’s Assessor will be elected and responsive to the people or a political appointee as the county executive wants,” Nicolello said on Tuesday. “We again call on the county executive to let the people decide.”
The county previously held elections for assessors, but that was changed in a 2008 referendum, according to officials.
“While the County Executive is focused on distributing vaccines to protect residents and bring our businesses back, the Republican Majority is focused on playing politics with Assessment,” a county spokesperson said in a statement.