MINEOLA - Big changes may be coming to the way Nassau County assesses homeowner taxes.
A proposal by County Executive Ed Mangano would have local towns taking over the job of assessing home value and setting property tax rates - a job currently handled by Nassau County.
Mangano said during his re-election campaign that smaller assessing jurisdictions are more accurate.
Nassau County began assessing taxes on a county level in 1948. Tax assessment is done by local townships for the rest of the state, including Suffolk County.
“Nassau County is the only county in the entire state of New York, in the country, that has this assessment system,” says Mangano. “All the others tend to use the towns, the smaller assessing jurisdictions tend to be more accurate and do a better job at it."
The Assessor's Office says more than 100,000 property taxpayers who complained they were taxed too high were granted refunds. The county currently owes $300 million in refunds and has to borrow to pay homeowners and businesses back.
"Show me the town that's going to want to take over the problem," said Legislator Dave Denenberg (D–Merrick). "I really don't believe that dumping the problem on someone else solves the problem.”
If enacted, the proposal would require local and state legislature approval.