Friday, August 10, 2007

Freezing The Assessment Leaves Homeowners Out In Cold

GOP Call For Five-Year Assessment Freeze Misplaced, Ill-Conceived, And Wouldn't Save Taxpayers One Thin Dime

As reported online and in various local newspapers, the Republican delegation in the Nassau County Legislature is stirring the waters, pre-election, this in the hope that voters will buy into their fairy tale -- a freeze in the assessment of residential properties will lead to a reduction in property taxes.

If you believe the convoluted logic behind this plan, we at The Community Alliance blog have a bridge to sell you -- in Minneapolis.

Of course, we all know that a freeze on annual assessments of residential properties won’t reduce property taxes. Even if the assessments remained the same – or declined, for that matter – when the taxing authorities (County, Towns, School Districts, Special Districts) need more money, they will simply raise the TAX RATES.

Your property taxes will increase, freeze or no freeze.

Besides the fool-hearty rhetoric – obviously designed to sway, or at least confuse, the voter in a year when every member of the Nassau County Legislature is up for election – in a housing market where the prices of homes are going DOWN, why in the name of Peter Schmitt would you want to put off an assessment for five years?


Real property tax relief can only be afforded to New York homeowners through action of that other legislature – the one that meets from time to time, and too often goes around in circles chasing its own tail, in Albany.

The assessment is what the market will bear – no better, no worse. It is, as it should be, a reflection of actual value.

The way we fund everything from our schools to garbage collection, is, on the other hand, within the purview of the State Legislature, and somthing that can be changed or modified (without smoke, mirrors, or rebate checks) so as to achieve the desired result -- lower property taxes.

The Nassau County Legislature should stick to that which it knows best – like banning rollerblading on the campus of Nassau Community College and attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies (or was that dissing would-be Poet Laureates). Whatever!

Yes, every Republican in the County Legislator took a photo before the same blown-up chart, issuing, nearly word-for-word (only the names were changed) the very same press release. That, in and of itself, was rather humorous. [The Dems often do the same, to be fair, but the Republicans, with so many years of practice, do it so very well.]

Lock step, figuring if they say it loud enough -- and in unison -- someone might actually believe it!

If simply saying it could reduce property taxes, or make myth into reality, it would be wonderful. In the case of the Nassau County Legislature's Republican Caucus, its same old, same old.

All talk, no substance.
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Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator John Ciotti

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Francis X. Becker

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Vincent T. Muscarella

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Peter Schmitt [The original proponent, back in April, 2007, along with Legislator Denise Ford]

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Norma L. Gonsalves

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Edward P. Mangano

Read the press release of Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford [Of March, 2007. Ms. Ford did not join in the most recent GOP release. Perhaps it was her new found cross-endorsement.]

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