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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

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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