Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced Aug. 8 a plan he says will save taxpayers $30 million.
For the first time ever in Nassau County every residential challenge has been corrected prior to finalizing the assessment roll due to reforms the county executive implemented this month.
"Nassau County has the only dysfunctional assessment system of its kind in the United States of America," according to a county press release. "Governed by a unique New York State law and protected by prior politician’s lack of will to tackle the dysfunction, the assessment system has generated $1.6 billion in debt and $100 million in errors annually for the last decade."
Mangano said residents will now receive their correct home value before paying taxes and will no longer have to pay money they do not owe to the county. Also, future generations have zero future debt liability for the 2012-13 assessment roll; the county saves more than $30 million a year, plus interest savings, and saves $4.3 million a year in labor employee processing savings.
Bob Orosz of Garden City, a member of the county's Residential Assessment Reform Team (ART), said the reduction is timely in that starting next year the Garden City School District will be responsible to budget for these refunds.
"Our recommendations have led to a climate of cooperation and compromise between the homeowner and ARC ... Past challenges were consistently denied which forced homeowners to seek restitution ... at a SCAR hearing. These hearings took place after the county rolls were closed and if the homeowner won a reduction it would result in a refund plus interest adding to the county's liabilities," Orosz said.
"Homeowners who won their challenges would not see these reductions applied to the following year's assessment, which gave them no choice but to challenge again. Now that the challenges are settled before the roles close these reductions can now be applied to the next tax year with no liability to the county or next year to the school district as long as things continue along the same path."
Fellow ART member Paola Orsini added, “This welcome change is unprecedented as it has achieved significant savings for taxpayers. I am honored to have been a part of this process."
In 2011, Nassau reduced residential liability from $30 million to $2 million, according to county officials, and this year, Nassau will face zero liability for the first time in its history.