Nassau property taxes take spotlight at reassessment meeting

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MINEOLA -

Hundreds of Nassau residents got the chance Wednesday night to weigh in on the county's controversial property reassessments.

In September, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran acknowledged a smooth process was probably not in the cards when she announced changes to the way the county assesses properties -- and she was right. Joseph Mills says a $3,000 projected tax increase could push him out of his West Hempstead home.

The long line of anxious Nassau taxpayers searching for answers Wednesday snaked through the halls and corridors of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. Many were willing to stand in the cold if it meant eventually getting their questions answered inside.

By the time everyone was seated, the legislative chamber was packed to capacity. Officials said four overflow rooms were filled with residents from across the county. Eric Berliner, of Sands Point, says under Curran's assessment overhaul, his taxes are slated to go up by $60,000.

MORE: Homeowners to play more active role in Nassau assessment changes

Frances Digiovanni says an estimated $3,000 increase could be enough to force her and her husband out of their longtime Levittown home.

Residents and county legislators directed their questions toward the county assessor David Moog, some of them expressing anger.

The legislature's presiding officer, Republican Richard Nicolello, told Moog he believes the assessor and the county executive are rushing the process, leading to confusion and resulting in costly mistakes.

For his part, Moog answered all of the questions and told News 12 he stands by his department's work.

Republicans criticized Moog for failing to hold public forums on the changes. But Moog says assessment officials have already met individually with 4,000 residents at satellite offices. On Wednesday night, people were offered the chance to meet with the assessor's staff on site.

Officials estimated that more than 600 people attended the meeting.

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