November brings Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and yes – another important date for Nassau County Residents. On November 1st, the County will be issuing the 1st half 2020/21 School Tax bills, which generally are released in October, but this year were pushed a month due to COVID-19 pandemic related delays. These bills will be the first to reflect the impact of Nassau County’s county-wide reassessment, making it reasonable to assume that many taxpayers will face “sticker shock” this month.
The Pandemic’s Impact on Nassau County’s Property Tax System
This November the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a top-level concern for Nassau County residents, both from a public health perspective and because of its negative economic effects. The County currently projects a $749 million deficit in 2020 and 2021, and the degree to which Federal help will close this gap remains uncertain. The painful choice between reducing essential services and raising taxes will likely be before legislators in the next six months, and it is by no means clear how this choice will be resolved nationally, statewide and in Nassau County.
The pandemic continues to make its impact felt on Nassau County’s property tax system in respect to the grievance procedure. The original March 2, 2020 grievance filing deadline for the 2021/22 tax year was extended twice by the Assessment Review Commission, first to April 2nd, and then to April 30th. These extensions gave homeowners additional time to challenge their assessments.
Record Number of Petitions Filed in 2020
Further, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in multiple extensions to file 2020/21 petitions for Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR). The original filing deadline was set for April 30, 2020, but due to multiple executive orders issued by the Governor, the final deadline to file ended up being September 4th. According to news reports, some 80,000 property tax appeals were filed in 2020, with about 58,000 of these challenges being resolved through Nassau County’s SCAR mediation program, and the remainder to be resolved through SCAR hearings.
In addition to the pandemic-induced disruptions to the challenge process, we remain concerned about the quality of case resolution. Let us hope that the pandemic-induced rush to process these challenges did not introduce errors or inequities that will disadvantage taxpayers, especially because many of them have lost income over the past six months.
How Maidenbaum Can Help
While the multiple deadline extensions granted to Nassau County taxpayers likely contributed to the large number of property tax grievances and petitions filed this year, there’s another reason why so many residents are filing grievances: because it’s a win-win decision. There’s zero chance that filing a grievance will increase your property’s assessed value, which means that the decision only has an upside for you.
Think of filing a grievance as doing a “reality check” on the County’s estimation of your property’s value. Are the “comparable properties” used in the assessment truly comparable? Are the mathematical formulas the County used to determine the market impact of a particular home improvement reasonable or off-base? Are there errors or discrepancies that may have crept into the assessment that might have a negative impact on your tax bill?
Resolving these kinds of granular, technical questions in favor of the homeowner is what Maidenbaum has been doing for more than 30 years. Over the years, our successful challenges have returned millions of dollars to Nassau County homeowners. We charge no hidden fees – unlike other tax grievance firms. Our knowledgeable, customer-friendly staff “knows the ropes” in Nassau County, and will treat your grievance with the seriousness and care it deserves.
We hope we’ve convinced you that filing a property tax grievance in Nassau County is a reasonable, sensible step to take, and we hope that you’ll choose Maidenbaum to represent you for the 2022/23 tax year. 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.