Written by George Maragos Friday, 12 April 2013 00:00
Home prices fluctuate annually throughout Nassau County due to market conditions. In some cases, the price fluctuations may be uneven within the same area or amongst individual homes. The annual property re-assessment process, from the creation of the tentative roll to the end of the grievance process, is intended to deliver a final roll, which is as fair as possible, and free of errors. The grievance part of the process is intended to give homeowners the opportunity to point out and correct any errors in their individual assessment.
Under recent changes, the 2012/2013 roll will be frozen for the next three years. However, homeowners can continue to file annual grievances if they are able to establish errors in assessment or establish other facts demonstrating that the assessment is incorrect, such as a change in the condition of the home, or other newly discovered facts that indicate an incorrect assessment. This freezing of the roll, together with other enhancements, such as incorporating prior homeowner settlements and resolving most grievances prior to the final roll, will progressively improve assessment fairness and will eliminate the need for the county to refund taxes paid by correcting assessments before the roll is final.
Last year approximately 102,355 homeowners (28%) appealed their property assessments. Approximately 85% of these filers received an aggregate assessment value reduction of 13%. Most of these homeowners appealed because they either had received an increase in assessment or had no change in their assessment value from their prior year during a declining real estate market. According to the Department of Assessment, the “overwhelming” majority of the grievance petitions filed for the 2012/13 tentative roll were presented and evaluated based on “comparables” (when a homeowner compares his/her property to that of a neighbor).
Homeowners can appeal personally or they can retain a representative. In 2012, individuals who self-filed received reduction settlements in 92.1% of the instances, while those that used professional representatives received reduction settlements in 84.6% of instances. Both groups were also comparable in terms of a weighted average reduction with about 9.5% for self-filers and 11.1% for those represented. Consequently, there is no significant difference in success rate between a homeowner who files a grievance personally and one who uses a professional representative.
Given the above results, the Comptroller recommends that homeowners who have NOT filed a grievance during the last two years should file to allow the County to take a second look in order to ensure that their homes are valued the same as those that have already filed their grievances. The best method to appeal is on the basis of comparing your assessment to your neighbors and on the condition of your home.
To self-file a grievance simply go to https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/wps51/portal/AROW by the dateline of May 1,2013.
Connect with Nassau County Comptroller Maragos Online: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/index.html.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.