People have been taking advantage of challenging their property taxes, and the county is having trouble keeping up with the payouts; the county has therefore borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars.
Laura Curran, a county executive, states that the reassessment is necessary because it will allow the county to have up-to-date accurate records when appearing in court for a tax grievance.
When the reassessment occurs, it is estimated that 52% of residents will see a property tax decrease and 48% will have a tax increase.
Nassau County will learn what changes have occurred to their property taxes once the county has mailed out notices. The letters also contain information regarding 2017-18 taxes for local schools and other entities, and also include an estimate for 2020-21 county taxes.
David Moog, a Nassau County Assessor, states that more homeowners will see their property value rise since becoming frozen in 2011. Moog also states that homeowners are more likely to see an increase in their taxes if they have filed for tax grievances over the years. This means that tax bills will not necessarily rise in accordance with property value. The reassessments will also vary greatly by the school district.
What is the purpose of the reassessment?
The county reassessment, which will impact 400,000 residential and commercial properties in Nassau, will take effect in the 2020-21 tax year. Nassau County officials from both political parties agree that the new reassessment is needed.
Nassau County struck deals with third-party companies in order to reassess properties in the county. These outside companies ultimately found that the current property taxes were too low for the present market values.
Why are the reassessments important?
Due to the ability to file tax grievances, homeowners have changed the county’s tax burden significantly. Those who have successfully won tax grievance cases have created an uneven tax weight for the rest of Nassau’s residents. A current reassessment will help level the playing field once again.
How will the reassessment affect Nassau’s residents?
The majority of Nassau’s residents will experience changes to their annual property taxes. With the new reassessment, it is estimated that 48% of residents will experience an increase and 52% will experience a tax reduction. Most homeowners that will see the largest increases will be those that have listened to their county officials and filed past tax grievances. Essentially being punished for doing what the county instructed them to do.
Nassau County officials project that 39,000 residents will see an increase of $3,000, while 33,000 will see a decrease of $3,000. Approximately 11,000 residents will experience an increase of $5,000, while 10,000 residents will see a reduction of $5,000.
Tax Impact Notices, which the county has provided to Nassau residents, show the 2020-21 tax projections.
How has the level of assessment changed?
Nassau County executives signed the reassessment in March. According to New York’s statewide law, the first year of assessments are capped at 6% and then the cap increases to 20% for the following five years.
Republican parties in Nassau have accused Curran of going back on her promise to adhere to a bill that would have had lower changes in annual tax rates for residents, including those who have successfully filed challenges. Democratic parties have also blamed Curran for hurrying into a reassessment that increases tax percentages for county residents.
The Taxpayer Protection Plan
The Taxpayer Protection Plan, which was proposed by Curran, would phase in the new tax bill. Essentially, homes would reflect the assessed market value by the fifth year of implementation. This plan would also moderate tax increases, but also slow down decreases for other homeowners.
What do homeowners think?
Residents who challenged their property taxes multiple times over the years are more likely to experience annual tax increases compared to those who have not.
There are many homeowners that are upset about the increases in property taxes. These taxpayers have hired tax grievance companies and have fought long and hard for reductions, and feel the new bill will counteract their efforts.
Supporters of the reassessment state that it is crucial for the homeowners who have been unknowingly overpaying for annual taxes to get on an even playing field. The frozen tax rolls have allowed for some residents to grieve and pay less, while others are stuck paying more than their home is valued.
Curran believes she is one of the only Nassau County executives to face the problem head-on. She blames the previous administration and lawmakers, as well as tax grievance firms for allowing the problem to occur.
What problems have officials faced so far?
Tax impact notices for county residents that were posted online had to be corrected because the assessor used preliminary, and not final, values. The administration was able to correct this error under Curran’s authority.
Nassau County only allows for a 6% increase in the first year of reassessment, and many tax impact notices were incorrect in this regard. Those, too, were corrected by county officials.
Stating it was normal to make corrections after homeowners received tax notices, Moog worked to correct approximately 20,000 tax disclosure notices after errors were found.
What happens now?
January 2nd is the tentative date for the release of the new tax impact notices. Residents have until April 30, 2019, to file appeals. After the appeals have been received, the county will review the tax rolls and publish a final tax roll in April of 2020.