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Letter: Obfuscation In Seniors’ County Taxes

If you checked your most recent county real estate tax bill (for Jan-Dec 2014) to confirm that you were credited with your senior abatement on your county taxes,  you will find no information. In fact, there was no way  to verify credit for my senior abatement for 2014 except to ask the Glen Cove Assessor’s office for the amount, if any, that was credited for senior abatement on my current bill. 

 

Thus alarmed, I checked previous county tax bills and found not only that senior abatements had not been itemized in any year after 2010,  but also that neither the “Rate per $100” nor the “County Tax” itemized on each bill after 2010 represented the full county tax before abatements. Only the tax bill for 2010 itemized the following  six quantities, which must appear as a minimum on every proper bill:  Fair Market Value $,  Senior Abatement $, Total Tax Levy $, County Tax Rate per $100 & Amount $ (both before abatement), and Net Tax Due $ (now called “Total”). It is also meaningless and confusing to itemize a Rate per $100 after abatement. In the future Nassau County should be required to issue fully and clearly itemized bills.

 

You may ask, why does the county short-change us in its billing? I believe it is done deliberately in order to promote the myth of  “no tax increases.”

 

It seems apparent that Nassau County has used obfuscation in its tax bills with their lack of accounting for senior abatements,  to hide the fact that the County Rate of Real Estate taxation has increased from  $71.1840/C in 2010 to a peak of $116.373/C in 2013  (over 16 percent). These increases  in the County Tax Rate were mandated to compensate for the fact that assessed values were “frozen” for the last three years and the fact that the county tax base has dropped from $14.4 million for 2010 to $10.1million (23 percent)  for 2014.

 

Mr. Mangano:  It is long past time for you to fulfill your promise to completely reorganize the operations of the Nassau County Department of Assessment and to cease your dependence on obfuscation. To your credit,  the Total Tax Levy has varied little from its average of  $9.8 million over the years 2010-2014.

 

Ted Holmes