Nassau County reassessment is no time to play politics

Newsday

Not one Nassau County taxpayer has gotten a flawed property-tax bill as a result of County Executive Laura Curran’s crusade to build an accurate roll of more than 400,000 properties. That’s because tax bills generated by the new values for 2020-21 won’t be sent out until Jan. 2.

What Curran is trying to do now is work out kinks in the new system and soothe residents’ anxiety and fury. It’s made harder because many of the county’s elected Republicans are encouraging rage and fear.

Until now, county properties have not been assessed since the roll was frozen in 2010, and the current valuations bear little relationship to reality. Many taxpayers won grievances year after year since 2010 that the county granted automatically to avoid generating potential refunds it could not afford to pay.

Those perpetual grievers did nothing wrong, but many of their homes are now seriously undervalued, and they don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Meanwhile, the people who have not grieved are paying too much. This reassessment is projected to increase taxes for 52 percent of property owners and decrease them for 48 percent, and in most cases, the swings won’t be huge. Any hikes will be truly manageable if the State Legislature agrees to let the county spread out the changes over five years.

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