Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said in a letter to County Executive Bruce Blakeman and acting County Assessor Matthew Cronin that more than 800 property owners were overcharged on their school tax bills.
Abrahams also said the Notre Dame Parish in New Hyde Park was wrongly sent another tax bill for approximately $480,000 for its 2023 general taxes.
“These latest concerns about the potential existence of another round of significant errors in Nassau County’s tax bills are being raised just months after 842 property owners were overcharged on their 2022/2023 school tax bills because the county failed to correctly apply the Taxpayer Protection Plan five-year phase-in to their properties,” Abrahams said in a statement. “We are furthermore distressed by initial evidence and analysis which indicates that this same error may have occurred on the general tax bills of those same 842 homeowners.”
A previous error in October led to the parish being wrongly sent a bill for $676,634 in school taxes, according to county records. The initial Nassau Assessment Department error led to a $16.7 million assessment on the tax-exempt property.
North Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman said in a letter to Cronin that the full tax exemption was again not applied.
“Similar to my explanation in my letter of October 26, 2022 regarding the 2022-2023 School Tax Warrant, it appears that this property appeared on the 2023 General Tax Warrant because the county failed to apply a full property tax exemption that the above-referenced property appears to qualify for,” Berman said in his letter to the county.
In November, Berman told Blank Slate Media the parish, located at 45 Mayfair Rd., sold a single-family home on its property for $630,000, which is what the county should have removed the tax exemption for rather than the entire property.
The school tax bill of the home’s new owner on 9 Aberdeen Rd. was taxed as a class 4 commercial property, which uses 1% of market value and commercial rates, Berman said.
“He should have been taxed as a class 1 residential property using 0.10% of market value and residential rates,” Berman said in a statement.
Abrahams added that Cronin’s use of the chief deputy assessor title could be a violation of the county’s Administrative Code.
“Adding to our already significant concerns, the Minority Caucus is aware that neither an assessor nor an acting assessor is currently leading the Nassau County Department, a fact made evident by the published 2024/2025 Tentative Assessment Roll, which was signed by Mr. Cronin as “Chief Deputy Assessor,” Abrahams said.
“Such an action is a potential violation of Article VI of the Nassau County Charter and Chapter VI of the Nassau County Administrative Code. Moreover, it offers a disturbing reminder of the administration’s secrecy and lack of transparency regarding this issue. All of this begs the question: If a permanent assessor had been appointed, would these repeat errors have occurred?”
Cronin, of Amityville, was appointed acting assessor by Blakeman in May of last year. Prior to his current role, Cronin was an assistant assessor with previous experience in the Department of Assessment.
He served as the county’s commercial and industrial assessor in 2020 before being promoted.
Cronin was appointed after Blakeman, a Republican, did not renew the contract for acting Assessor Robin Laveman, who was appointed to fill the shoes of her predecessor, David Moog, by former County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat.