Nassau GOP, Dems Spar Over Error Giving Mansions No Property Tax

NASSAU COUNTY, NY — An error in Nassau County assessments led to some extremely valuable homes in the county paying highly reduced — or even zero — property taxes this year. What the county executive’s office called an error is being touted by Republicans as an attempt to shift tax breaks for the rich onto middle-class homeowners.

Last week, Republicans in the Nassau County Legislature pointed out a handful of mansions along both the North and South Shores that were worth millions of dollars, but were billed zero in property taxes for 2021-22. Some of the homes went from paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes to zero. Others, with property tax bills in excess of $100,000, saw their tax payments drop to around $20,000.

“This is disgraceful, and it points out what the Republican conference of the Legislature has been saying all along,” said Legislator Bill Gaylor. “The Nassau County Executive’s reassessment is patently unfair. What’s more, it is a back-door tax increase for the hard-working homeowners who are picking up the tab for super wealthy homeowners who are paying no property taxes on their mansions because of Laura Curran’s reassessment. Taxpayers need and deserve answers.”

But Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s office said that cases like the ones cited by Republicans were rare, and that the county would fix the errors.

“Clearly the Taxpayer Protection Program, unanimously passed by the county Legislature, was never meant to eliminate property taxes and we will look to correct the law if needed,” said Nassau County Spokeswoman Justine DiGiglio.

Republicans in the Legislature also say the vote on the Taxpayer Protection Program was not unanimous, since Legislators John Ferretti and Steven Rhoads abstained.

“We are demanding that the county executive perform a comprehensive review to identify all the inequities and to fix the problem,” said Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. “Nassau residents deserve better.”

Curran’s office says that many of the assessment problems that are coming up today are a result of Republicans and previous County Executive Edward Mangano, who did not reassess property values in nearly 10 years. Property values were frozen for the entirety of the Mangano administration, which led to inaccurate tax rolls.

Curran started a process to reassess Nassau County properties, but has come under fire for many people seeing their property values — and therefore, the taxes they pay — increase dramatically. The Taxpayer Protection Plan allows homeowners who are seeing big spikes in their tax bills now to have those increases phased in over five years.

“Once again Republican Legislators are arguing to protect their broken assessment system and misleading the public,” DiGiglio said. “County Executive Curran successfully completed the challenge of the first countywide property reassessment in nearly a decade to fix a corrupt system that had homeowners paying inaccurate amounts — while the GOP did nothing. Of the more than 400,000 properties in Nassau, property examples like those used today are very rare and our tremendous progress will continue.”

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