This is a direct appeal to Tom DiNapoli, Joe Mondello, the respective Democratic and Republican leaders of Nassau County; the Democratic controlled Legislature and the Republican minority to put an immediate, amicable end to defending the indefensible¬the anachronistic and unjust assessment system of computing the taxes of owner residents of Nassau County.
In my opinion, the leadership for ending this injustice in a bipartisan way must spring from those residents of the more affluent communities¬Manhasset, Garden City, Port Washington, Great Neck¬to name a few, whose residents have benefited for years (the undersigned included) at the expense of our less economically fortunate brothers and sisters in Hempstead, Uniondale and Roosevelt, among others.
Nassau County is now down to a bond credit rating one step above junk and both parties, Democratic and Republican, appear to be paralyzed in making any effective progress toward devising a plan to close the budget gap estimated in the area of $200 million. Eliminating a few jobs or a few county autos will not do it and certainly the credit agencies are looking for much more.
Presently there are several lawsuits pending to correct this injustice which, in the opinion of the undersigned, will and should be lost by the county. The expenses to the county could run in the millions and, at the very least, these lawsuits should be put on hold or discontinued pending a bipartisan plan to address correcting our present assessment system.
What am I trying to accomplish by this letter? Very simple¬to get a grass roots ground swell throughout the county to end amicably, without lawsuits, a patently unjust assessment system.
The most frequently asked question here in Manhasset is "What increase in taxes am I looking at in the event this unjust system iis corrected?" Everyone to whom I have spoken agrees the present system is unjust. I don't have that answer and can only quote Phoebe Goodman, a Manhasset resident and executive director of the Nassau Citizens Budget Committee: "No one will have to pay as much as he (or she) fears nor benefit as much as he (or she) hopes."
Copies of this letter, along with an educational piece put out by the Nassau Chapter of the ACLU, will be sent to our political and legislative leaders, the credit agencies, key people and associations in communities throughout the county. This will include local clergy associations, since ending an unjust system involves not only social and political issues but a spiritual issue as well.
William F.X.Geoghan Jr.