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Tax help on way for homeowners

New plan promises more accurate, lower tax assessments for property owners.

For Nassau County residents, the days of filing tiresome, lengthy, repeated tax assessment grievances are numbered. County Executive Edward Mangano unveiled a four-year “assessment justice” plan yesterday that will assign properties “the lowest possible assessed values” that take into account successful grievances and court-ordered judgments.

“This is a great move, because homeowners are very confused reading their tax bills,” said Ella Stevens, president of the 800-member Wantagh/Seaford Homeowners Association. She said residents have complained that previous grievances seldom ever resulted in lower property taxes.

Mangano said the previous system of yearly assessments was “dysfunctional in every way” and “pushed Nassau County into fiscal instability.” He added that Nassau County pays the second-highest property taxes nationwide: “This reform alone stops the assessment sham of making the same error each year.”

Residents have until March 1 to contest their current assessment. Gregory Hild, chairman of the Department of Assessment’s Transition Team, said the new system would stop “the cycle of
erroneous refunds that waste over $250 million of taxpayers’ hard-earned money annually.”

Stevens said the improved assessment system will encourage residents to make upgrades on their homes. Previously, they worried about high assessments for any changes.

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