The Carry Forward policy in Nassau County allows property owners to enjoy annual tax reductions continuously.
Nassau’s Assessment Review Commission gives settlement offers to people who appeal against the tax assessment on their houses. Those who repeat the appeal every year get reductions that are automatically carried forward in the group of people who negotiate for reductions each year.
However the gravy train is halted in case the property is to be sold or the owner makes an application for a permit when building or when, in addition to other issues, the property owner misses an appeal.
While the group getting reductions continue moving ahead, the homeowner together with the annual automatic reduction remains behind.
A Sunday report in the Newsday newspaper reviewed Nassau’s Carry Forward policy and declared that it was as discriminatory as the whole assessment system in the county.
In the first place, the normal property owner who got a settlement during the initial year of the assessment system reforms carried out by Edward Mangano (Republican County Executive) in 2010 and then filed successive annual appeals up to 2015 eventually saved 20% of the taxes they could have been required to pay during that period.
In case the homeowner dropped from the Carry Forward group at least one time during that time, the tax reduction came to 17 %.
On the other hand, homeowners who postponed filing their annual appeals after the year 2010 did not enjoy the full benefits that came with the automatic reductions.
But let us assume that all homeowners accepted settlements from the commission from 2010 and that in addition, they wished to make sure that they did not drop from the Carry Forward group.
Was it possible to do that?
According to the report on Newsday, the answer to this question is no because the commission did not publicize the basis for remaining in the group and, equally important, the acts that could lead to the disqualification of a home from the tax assessment policy.
It was therefore not possible for the owner of a house to be aware that simple actions such as selling or listing a property, applying to get a permit when building or missing an assessment appeal would ultimately affect potential reductions.
That is unjust and unfair.
From the time that the assessment overhaul launched by Mangano got underway in 2010, taxes amounting to $1.7 billion have been moved from homeowners who contested their assessment to those individuals who did not. The end result of this has been the creation of two separate and unequal tax systems.
Next January, Laura Curran, a Democrat, will be the new county executive and she will need to craft a solution to the problem. Throughout the campaign, Curran frequently stated she would engage a properly-qualified assessor to take the place of the acting assessor appointed by Mangano.