The array of new numbers being thrown at Long Islanders in the last week has caused a fair amount of head scratching, high emotions, and a lot of concern about how residents are going to budget and hold onto their homes.
There is a lot of confusion about Long Island property taxes this month. Some of this comes from the natural complexity of the system, but more stems from a combination of seemingly contradicting statements in the news by officials.
New statistics show New York felonies up some 33%. Thankfully homicides are getting close to record lows, but the crime that is happening seems mostly geared toward property owners. If the increased threat or odds of being burgled wasn’t bad enough, LI SNAP benefits (Food Stamps) are being reduced. Not only is this a low blow to the 190k Long Islanders that rely on them, and which report they barely help them get through 3 weeks with groceries each month, but the Long Island Press reports this will result in a loss to the local economy of over $30 million a year.
Simultaneously property taxes are on the rise. Assemblyman Montesano hit the news wire this week to warn Long Island residents to re-claim their STAR exemptions before December 31st or face seeing their property tax bills go up further. Remember these benefits were slashed and reset for everyone to help eliminate ‘fraud’.
Gov. Cuomo has also warned against some property tax schemes and scams targeting Long Island homeowners. Nassau County Executive Mangano who just won reelection, and campaigned on not having increased a certain portion of property taxes in his previous term, has admitted the tax system is broken in the past too.
On the bright side there may be new exemptions for some types of Long Island home owners ahead, with as much as 10% of their home’s assessed value being exempt.
However, there are 3 main things to understand about all of this:
- The STAR credit is not the same as getting your overall property bill fixed
- A small 10% exemption is really irrelevant if your home’s assessed value is 30% or more above what it should be
- There are professional property tax adjusters with attorneys on staff on Long Island with many years of experience in experience battling injustice and inequality in the system
So do get help with this confusing and costly issue, but do choose who will represent you carefully and make sure they are an established and reputable local firm.