Curran vetos GOP assessment package; Nicolello said override vote will be annouced

Curran vetos GOP assessment package; Nicolello said override vote will be annouced
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran vetoed a GOP-proposed assessment package Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of the Nassau County Executive Laura Curran)

An assessment bill package claimed to make the county assessment process “more fair and transparent” by the Nassau GOP was vetoed by the county executive Wednesday. 

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran contended that the legislation package was “politically motivated.” 

“It is not meant to offer real solutions or relief – it’s meant to mislead taxpayers and distract from their decade of doing nothing,” Curran said. 

Home assessment values in Nassau County had been frozen for nearly 10 years until Curran undertook a countywide reassessment in what she said was an effort to make the county’s assessment roll more defensible in order to avoid issuing reductions to those who grieve their property taxes.

Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said that the resolutions were based on the concerns of residents heard by legislators at open town hall meetings. 

“These bills were designed to ease the burden on taxpayers who are simply trying to understand the reassessment process and have their questions answered,” he said. 

The presiding officer said the GOP plans to announce a veto override vote as soon as possible. 

The Nassau County Legislature passed the measures along party lines after hours of debate last month, with the 11 Republican legislators voting in favor and the seven Democratic lawmakers voting against the package. 

The six vetoed resolutions would force the county Department of Assessment to staff its phones with a human operator, mail updated tax impact statements, restrict private home inspections conducted by the department, require the county assessor to hold multiple public hearings throughout the country and mandate that the appointed county assessor reside in Nassau County. 

Nassau County Assessor David Moog is a resident of New York City. 

Curran urged the Republican legislators to take “real action” and pass the proposed five-year phase-in which would spread property tax increases and decreases over a period of five years. 

The Taxpayer Protection Plan was approved by the state legislature when passing the budget but requires ratification by the Nassau County Legislature to go into effect. 

Republican legislators have stated previously that they are reviewing the legislation that needs to be set in place before tax statements are prepared for October 2020. 

Also under review by the county GOP is three contracts for services that would assist the county in kickstarting the 2020-21 assessment process which Curran spokeswoman Christine Geed said was the majority’s attempt “to sabotage the 2021/2022 assessment roll.” 

The presiding officer contended in a prior statement that the administration said these services would be performed by existing staff when the county Legislature passed the same three contracts last year. 

“There are issues as to whether the work on updating the assessment roll should be accomplished by existing staff, which is what the administration said would be the case when we voted for the same contracts last year,” he said. 

An April analysis from Newsday found the 2020-21 tentative assessment roll to be fair and accurate. 

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