(The following letter was sent to GC Mayor Suozzi and is reprinted here at the writer's request.)
The board of education and administration are very concerned by the change in assessment figures that we received over the last several weeks. When we were preparing the school budget for 1999-2000, we contacted the assessor's office to get an estimate of the current assessed value of property in Glen Cove to determine an estimated tax rate. The figure that we received was $71,969,276. We contacted the assessor's office twice during our budget preparation and received the same figure both times.
On July 1, we contacted the assessor office in preparation to developing the tax warrant and received a revised figure of $71,241,522. This represents a decrease of $658,478 that translates to a tax rate of $49.90 rather than $49.44, which is the rate based on the earlier assessment figure. That is the rate that we indicated to the public was the estimated tax rate if the budget passed.
On July 12, we received the final number from the assessor's office, $71,219,887. This created a tax rate of $49.917 per $100 of assessed value. Despite the fact that we made it clear in all of our presentations that the tax rate could change with changes in assessments or state aid, the public will be disturbed by the increase in the tax rate. Unfortunately, these changes will have a negative impact on our credibility and the credibility of the city government. We are concerned that this issue is confusing to the public. Your letter on the STAR exemption adds to that confusion by stating that the school district determined the tax rate. As you know, we determine a spending plan that translates to a tax rate determined by the city.
The issue of the assessment rolls has been raised numerous times over the last few years. Most recently at the joint City Council/Board of Education meeting on Feb. 8, the question was again brought up. Assurances were provided that information on existing certioraris would be provided to the district in a timely fashion. A solution to this problem must be found in fairness to the taxpayers who have a right to accurate information from the school district and the city.
Your cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated. We would like to discuss this with you in greater detail as soon as possible.
Superintendent of Schools