Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker said the Nassau County reassessment is working after years of a “broken, dysfunctional and inaccurate” system. His Republican opponent for Legislative District 16, Daniel Alter, called the reassessment a “debacle.”
A lifelong Plainview resident, Drucker was elected to the Legislature in a 2016 special election and serves on the Finance, Public Works, Health and Social Services committees. He is also a ranking member on the committees for Planning, Development and the Environment and Government Services & Operations.
Drucker said he is focused on the issue of taxes and the reassessment in the district. He said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has done a good job taking on a system that was “broken, dysfunctional and inaccurate” for years. Despite bumps in the road regarding grievances and inaccurate property assessments, Drucker said over time the issues will be smoothed out thanks to programs such as the Taxpayer Protection Plan, which secures exemptions for certain property owners who experienced assessment increases.
“There were some sticker shock from people who saw their houses appraised for a really inaccurate amount,” Drucker said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “Thankfully, the county executive recognized that and helped phase in the protection plan to soften the blow.”
Drucker, a Democrat, owns his own law firm in Jackson Heights, Queens. Alter, the Republican candidate from Plainview, is a professor of restorative dentistry and entrepreneur, and holds a master’s in business management and organizational leadership. Alter immigrated to the country from Israel with his family when he was a child.
Alter, a first time candidate, said one of his main goals, if elected, would be to make Nassau County more sustainable to live in. He said he believes his background and approach would suit him well as a representative.
“I am not a politician and for me my campaign is not about politics, it’s all about people,” Alter said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “Many dwell upon it but I like to pivot towards solutions; there’s always a solution to every challenge.”
Alter said keeping Nassau sustainable would be feasible with lowering taxes. He supports the GOP amendments to the county budget that would cut $100 million in county fees and boost sales tax projections. The Republican also called the reassessment a “debacle.”
“I understand it needed to be done, but the way it was rolled out with some of the inequities is not needed,” Alter said.
Alter also claimed that Drucker helped push legislation through the state Assembly that reduced taxes for townhouses, where Drucker currently resides. Specifically, he said new developments, similar to where Drucker resides, have a reduction of $750,000 of assessment value over eight years.
The bill is currently in the New York Senate Rules Committee and, according to records, would amend the Real Property Tax Law to provide class one homeowners in the county an expanded exemption to transition increased value of capital improvements to residential buildings and new construction up to $750,000 for assessment purposes.
Drucker said the legislation aims to solve a problem he has long seen of retirees migrating out of New York.
“In 2018, I found that there was a hole in the tax structure that did not allow for newly constructed condos or substantially renovated homes to receive an exemption from value to reduce the tax burden,” Drucker said. “I thought this is something we need to do because I want not only to keep our senior population here, but I want to encourage people on Long Island to improve their homes.”
Legislative District 16 includes the communities of Plainview, Old Bethpage, Jericho, Syosset, Woodbury, Hicksville, Old Westbury and Roslyn Heights.
The interviews with Drucker and Alter can be found on The Island Now’s YouTube channel.