Nassau County homeowners are experiencing an increase of irritation and skepticism amidst receiving tax impact statements both in their mailboxes and online. These property reassessments, made by the county, detail possible increases in property value for over 50% of homeowners.
Sent out November 1st, tax notices revealed the new assessments to all county residents. Estimated tax bills were also published online on November 20th. These property tax changes are expected to take effect in 2020-2021.
The uproar over the property tax increase has been tremendous – residents have been contacting county officials in the assessment department since 2010 and county meetings open to the public have become filled with concerned residents. The Nassau County website has also hit 11 million in views November, nearly doubling the view count from October.
Due to failed attempts to fix over-assessments by the counties, numerous tax grievances have been settled. These settlements have caused homeowners, who have not filed tax grievances, to bear the weight of the property tax issue.
Legislator Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore) stated that residents feel “betrayed” and that homeowners have “been encouraged to participate in the grievance process”. Rhoads went on to say that property owners feel “as though they’re being punished for doing what the system was set up to tell them to do”.
Democrat County Executive Laura Curran, who encouraged the reassessment process of the counties homes, states she has found support with many of Nassau’s residents. The County Executive says that the reassessment will help the county decrease the amount of borrowing it needs to do in order to keep up with the successful tax challenges in court.
Toward the end of 2017, Nassau’s tax liability measured in at a whopping $569 million. In order to ease this financial responsibility, the county plans on borrowing upwards of $300 million dollars. Curran states that without the reassessment, the county will get “deeper into debt”, which the entire county will then have to appease.
Curran lowered the level of assessment from .25 to .1 percent starting in September. Controversy has risen over this recent change of market value used to calculate tax costs for homeowners.
According to county-provided data, Curran’s reassessment program is expected to see a tax increase for 52% of homeowners and a decrease for 48% of homeowners. With these changes, upwards of 11,000 residents will have increases of more than $5,000, while approximately 39,000 residents will see an increase of around $3,000.
A potential hike in property taxes could mean trouble for the housing market in the counties affected. Potential homebuyers factor in costs associated with buying property, including its yearly taxes. A higher tax rate could deter potential buyers from both personal and commercial property in Nassau.
With the negative responses stemming from impending tax increases, Nassau County Assessor David Moog has sent four new tax specialists to meet with residents and address their concerns. The offices have experienced quite a bit of traffic – 14,000 residents have either called or emailed and 4,000 people have physically visited the locations.
Meris Davis, a tax specialist working in one of the offices, said that her experience with resident feedback has been positive. She states that homeowners leave the office feeling informed, not with “the wool pulled over their eyes”.
Nassau County is showing residents the new market values of their properties. The reassessment notices also show the homeowners their 2017-18 taxes and tentative 2020-21 taxes.
Moog states that more homeowners will see their homes market value rise, after many years of fixed assessments. According to the County Assessor, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the property taxes will rise, as well. He states that residents that continually filed for tax grievances throughout recent years will face the largest increase.
Bottom line, we have interviewed hundreds of Nassau homeowners and commercial property owners who have attended meetings at one of the many Nassau Assessment satellite offices regarding the tax impact notices that they have received. What are those property owners advised to do by Nassau Assessor’s Office you ask? They are advised to file a tax grievance.