Nassau homeowners met by tax hike shocker

Many Nassau County residents say they were stunned when they opened their tax bills this week, not expecting such large increases.
Chairman of the Nassau County Board of Assessors Harvey Levinson says the hikes are caused by a lag in the tax system. Levinson says he was forced by law to assess property taxes based on values from January 2007, before housing values fell.
School Tax Rebate (STAR) checks were also sent out this week. A spokesman for Albany Republicans says the STAR rebate checks are intended to help reduce property tax burdens at a time when school districts send out their tax bills.
Levinson says Albany lawmakers should have worked to lower property owners? total tax bills instead of spending $10 million to mail School Tax Rebate (STAR) checks just before Election Day.
"I almost passed out to be honest with you,? Anne O?Sullivan, of Syosset, says of her reaction to her bill. ?I was very upset between this and the oil bill!" O?Sullivan is a widow who has lived in Syosset since the 1950s and says she?s never seen an increase like the $1,000 one tacked onto her bill.
In total, 77,000 Nassau residents are seeing those kinds of hikes.