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Nassau County Robs Property Tax Protesters of Independent Review Board


Assessment Review Commission to Use Flawed County Re-Assessment Software
And Not Challenge County “Level of Assessment”

 

The first line of the Nassau Assessment Review Commission website reads:

“The Assessment Review Commission (ARC) is an independent agency, separate from the Nassau County Department of Assessment, which is responsible for annually reviewing all applications for correction of assessment filed in Nassau County. These corrections have resulted in substantial savings for the taxpayer.”

No More

Proof ARC is no longer independent:

  • County Purchase order for “Prognose” re-assessment software specifically states it will be used by ARC – in addition to Department of Assessment.

The Review Commission just rubber stamps the Department of Assessment valuations if it uses the same software.

  • New ARC protest filing form no longer asks for “requested level of assessment” and ARC Chairman states at meeting of homeowner representatives that ratio is .1% (what Dept. of Assessment says it is — contrary to usual practice of waiting for ratio proof/negotiation with homeowner representatives). The level of assessment can be confusing but ensuring its accuracy is critical to a fair assessment.

In other words – the Review Commission now takes its orders from the Assessor!

The public doesn’t realize that in the recent past the County Assessment Review Commission, with only a few dozen employees, has done an admirable job of fairly resolving many hundreds of thousands of homeowner protests.

But now their $2,500,000 annual budget will probably be wasted — unless taxpayers/voters demand that the Review Commission stays independent from the Dept. of Assessment as the law requires.

By Fred N. Perry, Managing Member
Fred Perry Property Tax Reduction Group LLC
contact: info@fredperrytax.com 631-251-7320

 

Nassau County’s Deceptive Reassessment Tax Impact Notice


Assessor uses 7- year old data for critical calculation!


Tip #1: No matter what your tax impact notice states, if your home’s true market value is LESS than its reassessment value, file a tax protest.

My recent study: over 33% of all re-assessed homes are appreciably overvalued (compared homes’ very recent sales price with their reassessment value in stratified random sampling).

Tip #2: Tax impact figures are highly inaccurate since Assessor used 7-year old data for critical calculation which grossly inflates tax impact.

Nassau homeowners shocked by assessment letterWhile the County used the latest full year tax rates available in their calculations, the “2017-2018 Assessment” listed on the notice used a 7- year old level of assessment to calculate the market value. When the Mangano Administration “froze” the assessment roll about eight years ago the level of assessment for homes was .25% (and remained listed on County website) but a new level of assessment was negotiated and stipulated to every subsequent year by the County. The actual county-stipulated level of assessment for the 2017 /18 assessment was .16% – not .25% – a whopping 56% difference.

Example:

County use of 7- year old ratio (25%) grossly inflates re-assessment value increase:

 

2017/18 Assessment 2017/18
Market Value
Reassessment Value Value % Increase




1000 using .16% = 625,500 800,000 28%
1000 using .25% = 400,000 800,000 100%

It would have been more accurate to use the latest assessment roll – called 2018/19 final roll published April 2018 – and calculate full value by dividing the assessed value on that roll by the County-stipulated .15% level of assessment. The reassessment value percentage increase would be far less.

Also, when calculating the “2017-2018 Market Value”, the Impact Notice appears to have mistakenly used a .235% ratio rather than the .25% ratio as planned.

Would the Assessor have any reason to inflate the tax impact? Yes.

How excessive capping/transitional assessments hurts the public:

Exaggerating the tax impact helps the County sell their proposed transitional assessment cap plan which has not yet been disclosed (as of this writing).

The County motives are suspect since they already unsuccessfully tried to sneak in State legislation to limit taxpayer protest rights, and initially proposed a 10-year phase in of the reassessment. Also, the new Assessor (from New York City) speaks openly about how New York City has virtually no successful residential tax protests under their continuing transitional assessment program.

Excessive phase-in programs render the reassessment meaningless, limit successful worthy tax protests, can easily confuse homeowners and encourage disruptive lawsuits alleging discrimination. Such lawsuits, such as the pending Tax Equity Now NY LLC v. City of New York and Coleman v. Seldin relating to Nassau’s last reassessment in 2003, could invalidate any excessive assessment phase ­in scheme and cause temporary chaos.

Avoiding tax shock is important, but it can be carried too far.

By Fred N. Perry, Managing Member
Fred Perry Property Tax Reduction Group LLC
contact: info@fredperrytax.com 631-251-7320
Dated: November 26, 2018

 

All Nassau Tax Impact Statements are listed on County website mynassauproperty.com