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Village of GN Reassessing All Property

All Property Will Be at Fair Market Value

The Village of Great Neck is in the process of reassessing all of the properties within the village, both residential and commercial, for village real estate tax purposes. Within a few days every taxpayer in the village will receive their preliminary assessment for next year. In addition, the mailing will include details on how taxpayers can question, discuss and possibly change that assessment.

About eight or nine months ago the mayor and board of trustees of the village decided to revalue every property in the village for village tax purposes since they felt that a lot of properties were not fairly valued.

“We want to do the fair and right thing, and that is to value each property at fair market value so it bears its fair and equitable share of our village real estate tax burden,” Mayor Ralph Kreitzman told the Great Neck Record. He explained that the village could not adopt the Nassau County assessments since the county has been having unresolved assessment problems for years. Thus, the village decided to do their own reassessment.

The first step in the reassessment process was to hire experienced appraisal firms and to work with the New York State governmental agency that oversees and reviews property assessments. A lot of time was spent reviewing the data that goes into tax assessments.

Two months ago every property owner in the Old Village was sent information regarding their property. They were asked to review the information and respond with corrections or a statement that it was correct. “We got a terrific response, over 40 percent,” the mayor said, adding that some governments that have undertaken this process only receive about a 15 percent response. All responses were taken in to account when the appraisers corrected village data.

Along with the reassessment, the mayor and the board of trustees have called for preserving, to the fullest extent permitted by law, any tax exemptions (such as the veterans’ and firefighters’ exemptions) that residents currently enjoy. This revaluation will be a 100 percent valuation, placing each piece of property at fair market value, so some adjustments to village law will be necessary to preserve some of these exemptions.

The mayor did explain that the reassessment will not change the total amount of taxes that the village will collect for property owners as a whole; it just provides each property owner with a fair assessment and a fair share of taxes to be paid.

The mayor and the board said that the benefits of the reassessment include “fairness,” with each property owner paying his/her fair share, and, hopefully, with current full value assessments, a decrease in the large number of tax certiorari proceedings brought against the village, and won, each year. Mayor Kreitzman said that last year almost all and about 600 residential property owners went through the process and many won (thus obtaining tax funds). “A 100 percent, full market value, will cut down on those certioraris,” the mayor said.

At the Oct. 19 village board meeting there was a public hearing on the homestead tax category class. With the adoption of this law, there will be two tax classes from next year on —- one class for single-family homes and two-family homes, and a second class for all other properties. This will help reduce the tax burden on one-and-two-family homes if commercial property receives a tax reduction because the reduction will be borne only by commercial properties.

The village mailing is scheduled to go out at the end of the month. Each property owner will receive information with their prior valuation and their new valuation and how much more or less tax they would pay assuming that the current tax rate applied to the new one. And each property owner will have the opportunity to discuss any issues and questions (and provide additional relevant information) with the village’s consultants.

The final assessments will be published on Feb. 1, 2011, the date required by law and will apply to the village tax due June 1, 2011. If any property owners still disagree with the reassessment they can still bring a tax certiorari against the village.

With the new assessments, the mayor reiterated that “everyone will bear their fair and equitable share of our village taxes.”

The village tax (excluding the village sewer tax which is paid only by a portion of the village) amounts to less than 15 percent of the total real estate tax that village property owners pay.