The Nassau County administration is proposing to revise assessed property values through computer-based estimates of current home values, coupled with tax rates calculated to keep total revenues unchanged. The stated purpose is to discourage property tax grievances and save the county from having to issue refunds.
At a public hearing last month, hundreds of residents showed up at the county
legislature to protest and display their shock and anger at the drastic annual increases in property tax they would have to pay and the dislocations they faced. Various comments suggest there are significant errors in the administration’s model, leading to erroneously high estimates of taxes due.
In any case, it appears that the hardest hit would be long-term owners, including seniors, veterans and low-income families. While many of these residents may have benefited from filing grievances in the past, nonetheless, they have been paying property taxes at rising tax rates for many, many years.
In my opinion, it would be to everyone’s advantage to consider a simpler proposal, as follows:
1. Respect the present legal caps on increases in assessed valuations (6 percent in one year; 20 percent over five years). Discard the present confusing arithmetic adjustments being used to get around those caps.
2. For those residents who do not file a grievance in over five years, grant a small tax discount.
I hope the county will soon present a revised approach for public comment.