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Assessments Explained

Getting ahead of the upcoming spring tax and school budget season, the Levittown Community Council welcomed Donald X. Clavin, Jr., receiver of taxes for the Town of Hempstead, to speak to the group at its monthly meeting on Jan. 28 at Levittown Memorial. Clavin spoke to attendees about understanding your property taxes as well as how to grieve your assessment. 

“It’s your right to challenge your assessment,” he said. “The worst that can happen is that your assessment stays exactly the same.”

Clavin told the group that due to Hurricane Sandy, the town has decided to extend the filing period for challenging assessments to May 1 this year instead of the usual March 1. 

Clavin also told the group that although they can hire an attorney to help challenge your assessment, it’s not necessary. “It does require a little legwork on your part, but you can do it yourself,” he said, and he noted that doing so would also save money. 

In order to challenge assessments, Clavin said, homeowners need to fill out an application and then find three homes within a quarter-mile of theirs, as well as ones that are in the same school district, that have sold for less than theirs within 12 months. 

However, there are some variables. “Bedrooms, bathrooms and square-footage are the keys to making sure that you get the right assessment, so you will need to pick a house that is similar to yours,” he said. “Being in Levittown is great, though, because there are so many different types of homes in the area.” If you can’t find three homes that were sold, he said that homeowners could go online and do a Nassau County property search and see what homes like theirs are assessed at. “You can use the county’s town data against them when it comes to challenging your assessment. See what the county thinks those houses are worth versus what the county says your home is worth,” he said. Any combination of sales and county assessments will do when it comes to supporting your argument, he said. However, said Clavin, foreclosures and short sales are not accepted when it comes to challenging the assessment of your home. 

Clavin also told the group that if their challenge is denied, they are entitled to take the claim to small claims court for a small fee, which many of the attorneys are doing, in order to have a judge make an independent ruling. 

“That’s why it is important to have your own evidence to support your challenge, because at the end of the day, a judge will sit down and go over all of the documents you gave him, so you have to be able to give him proof of your claim.”

Although Clavin didn’t go in-depth about exemptions, he did remind the group to apply for the Veteran’s, senior citizen and enhanced STAR tax discounts. “Even though the Governor put his 2 percent tax levy cap in place on the schools, 2 percent is a lot of money to people, especially when you haven’t had a raise or a job for a number of years. Every bit helps,” he said. 

News

Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, nearly 2,000 military veterans and Gold Star families in Levittown and Island Trees will have to wait for their tax break until next year. 

 

Both the Levittown and Island Trees school districts are among several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Earlier this year, trustees in both districts voted unanimously to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year. 

In response to the criticism from the community over the proposed sale of 11.3 acres of school district property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow school facilities, the Island Trees  Board of Education has revealed the details of an $18 million proposal to develop housing for seniors (age 55 and up).

 

“People should be aware of the whole story,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “There is this perception that [the board] acted hastily... It was not just a quick decision over chump change.”


Sports

Kaitlyn Gerdes and Kelly Gerdes, seniors at MacArthur High School in the Levittown School District, have signed National Letters of Intent to continue playing soccer on the college level at Hofstra University this fall. They will each pursue a degree in exercise science.

 

Both girls are co-captains of the varsity soccer team and received All-County designations this fall. As sophomores, the twins assisted their team in winning the county, Long Island and New York State championship titles. As a junior, Kaitlyn was designated as an All-

Class player, while Kelly garnered an All-Class designation in her junior year and has been named an All-Long Island and All-Conference player. Kaitlyn and Kelly also play for the Farmingdale United travel soccer team and are peer leaders at their school.

 

— Submitted by the Levittown Public School District 

An international soccer conference featuring the legendary Pelé is coming to the local area. Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity and Politics is at Hofstra University in Hempstead through April 13.

 

“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”

 

Members of the Long Island Junior Soccer League are invited to join the conference as a guest and at no charge on Saturday, April 12 at Hofstra University. Panels and discussions on Saturday will include experts in coaching, leagues and sports media and were designed with the soccer enthusiast in mind.


Calendar

Meet the Candidates - April 8

Special Town Meeting - April 9

Blood Drive - April 9


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