Blakeman freezes county tax assessments, extends grievance deadline

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Blakeman freezes county tax assessments, extends grievance deadline
Nassau County has frozen its tax rolls for the third consecutive year. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

For the third consecutive year, Nassau County has frozen its tax rolls and won’t be conducting tax assessments of properties.

The deadline for residents to file grievances on their property assessments has been postponed 30 days from March 1 to April 1. 

Nassau began to freeze tax rolls in 2008, a practice that was continued by former Executive Ed Mangano for eight years before his successor, Laura Curran, lifted it in 2018.

During that period, thousands of residents filed grievances on the value of their homes, winning reduced assessments and shifting the tax burden onto others who did not challenge their assessments.

A Newsday report from 2019 showed some $2.7 billion in property taxes were shifted over the eight years and people who did not challenge their property taxes were assessed at a level 29.2% greater than those who did.

After calling for a reassessment of approximately 400,000 homes at the time, Curran re-implemented the freeze for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2023 tax years due to what she called instability during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last month County Comptroller Elaine Philips released a report of her yearlong audit of the 2020-2021 reassessment on the county’s approximately 386,000 and 37,000 commercial properties, saying the reassessment relied on “flawed data.”

Philips said the Department of Assessment was not fixing property information and data weaknesses before the reassessment.  The comptroller’s report did not dispute the overall accuracy of the program.

Members of the Nassau County Legislature’s Democratic minority held a news conference last week to demand answers from the Blakeman administration. 

“Before he became county executive, Mr. Blakeman vowed to rescind the increases that he blamed on the recent reassessment – Nassau County’s first in nearly a decade. What did County Executive Blakeman do when he took office?” asked Legislator Debra Mulé (D-Freeport).

“He didn’t just break his promise to roll back the reassessment – he froze our tax rolls for a third consecutive year,” she said. “Every year the administration freezes the assessment rolls, the system gets more badly broken. It is simply unfair – and Nassau residents deserve a real plan for the future.”

Minority members of the Legislature have been critical of recent tax bill errors from the county’s Department of Assessment, including over $1.2 million in errant tax bills sent to Notre Dame Parish in New Hyde Park and 842 homeowners who received inaccurate school tax bills. 

Information for residents looking to appeal their property assessment can be found on the county’s website

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