Curran signs law requiring assessment notices to include tax impact

Curran signs law requiring assessment notices to include tax impact
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran signed a law last week that will require the county to send out notices to residents containing the tax impact to their property under the county’s new assessment system.

“Today, working with my colleagues in the Legislature, we have ensured transparency to the public,” Curran said at a news conference. “I did not create this mess, but I am committed to fixing it.”

The tax impact of the assessments will be accessible online and mailed to each property owner by Dec. 1.

Curran also requested that the County Legislature make technical changes to the law, such as clarifying dates and eliminating tax estimates for villages or cities that have their own assessments.

The county sent out a notice to property owners at the beginning of November that included their property’s fair market value and tentative assessed value as determined by the county’s property reassessment, the first one in seven years. What it didn’t include is an estimate of the property’s tax impact after the assessment.

The assessor’s office was able to exploit a loophole in state laws that permitted two “special taxing units” — Nassau County and New York City — to include less information.

In September, the Legislature passed a law demanding that the Curran administration send out a second notice with all information required by the state. But county Assessor David Moog testified that he would not have that data ready until the middle of November — after the election.

“Our residents are deeply concerned about the county executive’s reassessment plan,” said Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), who had criticized Curran and the incomplete notices. “Taxpayers have a right to know how their taxes will be affected by the new assessed values.”

The assessment rolls in Nassau have not been updated in seven years as the reassessment process fell by the wayside under the Edward Mangano administration. During that time, thousands of residents successfully filed grievances on the value of their homes. But this deprived the county of taxes and pushed the financial burden onto those who did not grieve their assessment values.

Curran announced shortly after taking office that she would oversee a full reassessment. But in October, Curran decided to change her strategy, setting the class one level of assessment — which covers one-, two-, and three-family homes — at 0.1 percent of market value instead of 0.25 percent.

Legislators from both sides expressed concern that the 0.1 percent would cause some property owners’ taxes to rise too suddenly; Curran is requesting that the state Legislature permit the county to space the increase over five years to dampen the impact.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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