Readers Write: Martins assessment plan would raise costs

The Island Now

Jack Martins has floated the idea of driving the tax assessments for Nassau County down to the town and village level.

According to Mr. Martins this would save the County $80 million a year. And it could, but it would only drive the costs down to the town levels.

So we would still be paying, just a different tax bill. I also know Suffolk County has a town tax system however, this system has been long established and do we actually know how well it works compared to Nassau?

In addition, this would leave us with perhaps a county assessor with terminated employees – or would they still remain adding to the complexity and cost?

Are we then supporting two levels of assessment departments? I see Mr. Martins has not disclosed what will happen to that staff. Perhaps he has retraining in mind, and we will find the old assessment staff out grooming roadways at $75,000 per year.

I am deeply concerned we will have increased costs, as well as the negative impact of a decentralized system.

We may have an inconsistent and erratic experience for taxpayers across Nassau County.

As taxes are levied on the assessed valuation of a property, those values are determined either by the governmental agency handling the task or the contractors.

It is well known there have been issues with contractors and corruption.

So, are we providing an opportunity for additional problems, but this time gambling with our house values and taxes?  The towns would need to hire new staff which begs the question, will they be qualified or someone’s relatives?

And what about our assessed valuations when we go to contest an unfair house evaluation? Will the favored get the reductions while the rest of us work endlessly to pay more than our fair share of taxes? 

The corruption on the Town of Oyster Bay level is well documented in pending court cases.

Do we really want folks similar to Venditto and the associates he left behind deciding whose taxes will be lowered? Sounds like more of an opportunity for unfair tax levies, and the ones connected to get the breaks.

As a real estate professional, I am concerned about the decentralization of a system that could impact title workers, appraisers and brokers. Will costs go up as they have to work in a decentralized system which may be awkward and time consuming?

We have a system and it can work. It is currently broken but can be overhauled and fixed.

We do not need to reinvent the wheel three times over. It would be cheaper and easier for the taxpayer to provide a unified and consistent experience for all.

There is no reason to create duplication, more costs and yet another avenue for even more corruption and mismanagement. I find this option yet another way to add to already expensive town governments.

Donna Kianka

Sea Cliff