WOODBURY - Democratic Nassau County executive candidate Tom Suozzi elaborated today on a topic that he admits can be "mind-numbing," but is important nonetheless: the tax assessment system.
Suozzi is taking current Executive Ed Mangano to task over the county's system, saying that it's broken and needs to be fixed. Suozzi says that to be able to hold the line on property taxes, Mangano's administration has passed the costs onto local school districts, and he blames Mangano's tax assessment system for a rise in local school taxes.
Suozzi says Mangano's decision to freeze assessment values for four years and grant reductions to 87 percent of homeowners who challenged their assessment has created a scenario that has led to a tax increase for most homeowners; even if the increase shows up on a different portion of their bill.
READ MORE: Long Island Politics
To change the system, Suozzi says assessment values should be adjusted after over 1-3 years, and that the county should alter the way it provides refunds.
"If you overpaid your taxes and you were awarded a tax certiorari refund, instead of the county bonding this expense, your taxes will be reduced by that amount the next year," he says.
Suozzi's plan would also call for tax credits to be paid for by the same taxpayer class of the owner who grieved their taxes. That way, he says residents would be spared from picking up the tab for commercial grievances, which Suozzi says make up the vast majority of current refunds.
News 12 Long Island requested an interview with Mangano, but his office declined. A spokesperson said, in part, "Over a decade, Tom Suozzi and Democratic legislators borrowed an average of $101.5 million a year to pay for the broken property tax assessment system. Tom Suozzi forced residents to pay their taxes first and then fight for a refund. Ed Mangano's policy allows residents to fight their assessment prior to paying their taxes. Ed Mangano's plan ends the Suozzi practice of relying on borrowing."
Voters will choose the next county executive on Nov. 5.