Wednesday, February 22, 2006

East Meadow School Tax Forum Scheduled

When 5.45% May Not Be 5.45% ~ Clearing The Air On Local School Tax Rates

The following appeared in the online edition of the Long Island Press:

East Meadow Skeptical about School Tax

Jaclyn Gallucci 02/22/2006 1:31 pm

Months after East Meadow residents received a letter informing them of a 5.45% increase in school taxes, a public forum has been scheduled to address what some are calling inaccurate and misleading information.

News of the school tax increase came in the form of a letter from Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin, Jr., which implies that the assessor has the freedom to establish assessed values subjectively, rather than using scientific calculations, according to an announcement posted by the East Meadow town website. [Unable to find an "East Meadow town website," The Community Alliance refers readers to the Town of Hempstead website, and in particular, the Town's news release dated November 3, 2005 entitled, Study Proves Assessment Link To Tax Hikes: In Hempstead Village, Higher Values Set By Mineola Strip Homeowners of School Tax Cut- Elsewhere, Assessment Changes Fuel Skyrocketing Taxes.]

On Monday, Feb. 27, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (East Meadow High School auditorium located at 101 Carman Avenue), Nassau Board of Assessors Chairman Harvey Levinson will host a public forum addressing the letter, explain the 5.45% increase, and demonstrate methods homeowners can use to calculate their own school property tax, according to the Nassau County Assessment Department.

“My hope is that my public forum will provide a more transparent view of a complicated process,” Levinson said in a statement yesterday.

The forum will be open to East Meadow residents, according to East Meadow Superintendent Robert R. Dillon, who asks residents who attend to bring a copy of their recent tax bill and, if possible, the letter sent by Clavin last October.

“The specifics from these documents will help us further clarify the magnitude of the tax increases being imposed upon our residents without explanation,” Dillon said in a statement, “and without explanation there is no justification.”
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The Community Alliance has reached out to Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes, Don Clavin, for comment and, if possible, for a copy of the letter referenced in the Long Island Press article. [In the interest of getting the word out concerning the February 27th public forum, and in fairness to the Receiver of Taxes, this blog was posted before Mr. Clavin was contacted.] Any response received from Mr. Clavin will be published in this blog.

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