Annual Review Deemed Preferable To Once In Four Years
Could it be that Nassau County Exec Ed Mangano and his ill-conceived ilk just don't get it, or are they simply playing Nassau County homeowners for the fools that we apparently are.
Take a look at the letter you received in January from the Department of Assessment, and you will see something quite amazing. The market value of your residential property is right on the money.
In many cases, market value, upon which the assessment is based, is actually lower than the value of the house on the marketplace. How lucky can you get?
Once again, loudly, for those who suffer from Attention Deficit: IT'S NOT THE ASSESSMENT, IT'S THE TAX RATES!
You can review assessment weekly, or once in a decade. Reduce the assessed value to a single dollar. The tax rates, for county, town, special districts, and schools, will simply skyrocket to fill the gap.
Tax savings? Nil!
Propaganda of the Assessment as the root of all evil? Priceless!
Look. They're no fools who propose an assessment "freeze" or who "order" (are they authorized to do that?) reassessment every four years instead of annually. It makes good press, and, beyond believing in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, lulls people into a false sense that government is really doing something to reduce property taxes.
Bottom line: Watch the bottom line. Fools and their tax dollars are, invariably, soon parted...
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State says Nassau tax roll fair due to yearly review
by ELIZABETH MOORE / firstname.lastname@example.org
Nassau County's much-maligned residential tax roll has won top marks for fairness from New York State, a result the state's Office of Real Property Services chalks up to its annual reassessments.
The county has improved steadily over the past few years and its 2009 roll got a higher grade for accuracy than any Long Island town or city save Shelter Island, which also updates its tax roll annually. It also did better than the city of Long Beach.
The findings add a new wrinkle to the complex politics of the issue for County Executive Ed Mangano, who was elected on a wave of taxpayer rage and Wednesday signed an executive order switching from annual to quadrennial reassessments. Mangano has charged that the assessment system "is broken, does not work and is not fair to taxpayers."
But as to the roll itself, the state has found exactly the opposite, seven years after court-ordered reassessments began. "Compared to most other municipalities on Long Island, Nassau's assessment roll has consistently shown greater equity as a result of its reassessments," said Geoffrey Gloak, spokesman for the state Office of Real Property Services.
"That's what you would expect from a municipality that's conducting reassessments on an annual basis. They tend to produce a more accurate roll."
A Mangano spokesman declined comment on the state's analysis, saying he had not seen it. But Legis. Howard J. Kopel (R-Lawrence), chairman of the government services committee, scoffed at the findings.
"I absolutely do not believe it," he said. "No one thinks their tax assessments are accurate . . . I think the fact that we've got so many grievances filed certainly suggests there's a problem."
The state's findings are even more favorable than the analysis produced last spring by county assessor Ted Jankowski Jr. Jankowski found myriad problems with the assessment and grievance system, but concluded the residential roll itself is far fairer now than the public realizes.
The county's grade comes in the form of a "coefficient of dispersion," a statistic measuring how closely the roll matches true property values judging from actual sales on the open market. The lower the C.O.D., the fairer the system; a C.O.D. of 10 or less is the national standard for areas as populous as Nassau.
Nassau's C.O.D. for its 2009 roll was 6.5, the state found. By contrast, Long Beach's 2009 tax roll scored 14.9; Brookhaven's 17.7, and Huntington's 13.9.
"No reassessment is perfect, no matter how big or small the locality," Gloak said, adding Nassau's good score "doesn't mean that there aren't other aspects of the county's system that are in need of change - for instance, the appeals process."
Fred Perry, a tax-grievance attorney, expressed skepticism about the state's methods, but agreed the roll is improved. "In the aggregate numbers, it's not as bad as people think," he said.
But Perry said there are still too many "ridiculous errors" and evidence of poor quality control.