March Madness: Cutting Through Property Tax Confusion

Maidenbaum hopes that you and your loved ones are faring well during this unprecedented time. Even as Nassau County administers a mass vaccination program, the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose many challenges to a full return to “normal life”.

The pandemic severely impacted state and local budgets, with New York State suffering a $13 billion loss in tax revenues as a result of reduced business activity. Nassau County itself currently projects a $749 million deficit in 2020 and 2021, and while some measure of relief will come from the recently passed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and stimulus bill, only $685 million will flow to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, resulting in sizable, unbalanced budgets that will likely force legislators to choose between reducing services or raising taxes.

Obviously, neither option will help Nassau County residents struggling to meet the already high costs of owning a home. Total costs of home ownership in Nassau County already consume 63.4 percent of an average household’s wage income. Nassau County residents already pay nearly the highest property taxes in the entire nation, with an average 2017 property tax bill of $11,425, according to property tax data company Attom Data Solutions. And these property taxes – driven by ever-rising tax levies imposed by Nassau County localities – continue to rise each and every year.

New Developments Affecting Your Property Tax

Against this background of deep and continuing economic uncertainty, Nassau County homeowners need to be aware of a number of recent developments relevant to their property taxes. These include:

– Reassessment Phase-In Act Enacted (without relief for owners of newly constructed homes):

Last March, the Nassau County Legislature passed the Reassessment Phase-In Act of 2020 (RPIA) formerly known as the Taxpayer Protection Plan, which phased-in any changes to a homeowner’s assessed value for the 2020/21 tax year over a 5-year period. Newly constructed and renovated properties, however, were not covered by the RPIA, resulting in severe “sticker shock” for some 1,000 homeowners who did not anticipate the massive tax bills that followed, but who are immediately obligated to pay tax bills based on their properties’ new assessments.

– First Post-Reassessment Tax Bills Received:

In late 2020, Nassau County homeowners began receiving their first post-reassessment tax bills. About 65 percent of homeowners saw increased property tax bills, according to press reports.

– An Assessment Roll Freeze:

In early December 2020, the Nassau County Executive announced an assessment freeze for the 2022/23 tax year. The freeze affects all residential and commercial properties in Nassau County, except newly constructed housing and new land lots. Its purpose was to prevent homeowners from being hit by inflated assessments caused by the current volatile state of Nassau County’s real estate market.

Grievance Filing Extensions:

In early January 2021, the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission (ARC) extended the 2022/23 property tax grievance filing deadline from March 1, 2021 to April 30, 2021, giving homeowners an additional 60 days to file tax challenges.

Let the Pros Sort This Out

If all of these developments have left you feeling a bit confused, please know that you’re not alone. Even before the pandemic hit, Nassau County’s property tax assessment system was complicated, convoluted and in flux thanks to the 2018 reassessment, which in itself was a mammoth undertaking. More recently, incorrect property tax bill amounts, implementation mistakes and inconsistencies due to timing issues, have compounded to increase confusion with the process. With the many recent changes modifying the equation, it’s tempting to throw up your hands and simply accept these developments without fully exercising your rights.

That would not be in your best interest, nor is it a choice you need to make.

To protect the investment you have in your home, it’s crucial that you ensure that Nassau County’s assessment of your property is up-to-date, error-free, and truly fair. That means filing a grievance to serve as a vital “reality check” on the data the County has on your property.

And that’s where Maidenbaum can help. For more than 30 years we’ve been helping tax-stressed Nassau County homeowners reduce their tax burden to the maximum allowed by law, saving them millions of dollars. Unlike other tax grievance firms, we charge no hidden fees. Our knowledgeable, customer-friendly staff “knows the ropes” in Nassau County, and will treat your tax challenge with the seriousness and care it deserves. We know the law and follow all the latest legal twists and turns so you don’t have to. Furthermore, if we cannot secure you a reduction, you will pay us nothing at all (aside from a potential $30 court imposed filing fee), so the decision to let us handle your grievance is both a win-win and a no-brainer.

We hope we’ve convinced you that filing a property tax grievance in Nassau County is a prudent step to take, and we hope that you’ll choose Maidenbaum to represent you for the 2022/23 tax year. (Just remember, the clock is ticking: the deadline for filing a grievance is just a little more than a month away).

If you’d like to sign up or simply learn more about how taking this step will benefit you, please contact us today via our website or by phone at 516-336-8622.