Unfair Laws - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2049658

Unfair Laws

Long Island voters need to be better informed about the gross unfairness that exists in the New York State property assessment laws. Simply put, it might come as a surprise to some, but the facts are undeniable.

Reassessment is a way to ensure that one neighbor is not forced by law to pay another neighbor’s taxes. It does not mean your taxes will increase; only those who are under-assessed will be forced to pay their fair share.

The way the existing law is written, property assessment assessors who are well aware of the inequities cannot by themselves fix the gross unfairness that exists because of obsolete assessments, some of which are almost 100 years old. It requires the municipality themselves to bite the bullet and have the political courage and ethical obligation to mandate reassessment, even if the cost of doing so is high.

For example, Riverhead has over 17,000 properties, and it’s been 43 years since the last overall assessment.

Unfortunately, because of so much misinformation and the high cost, their moral and ethical obligations take a back seat.

A good part of the problem is the use of fractional assessment vales that appear on the tax bill. It causes property owners to incorrectly believe that is what the town thinks is the true value.

The only people who benefit from the existing law are under-assessed property owners, lawyers, tax appeal companies and politicians who receive contributions to maintain the unfair and unethical state laws.

Who is it that cannot believe trust in the law and government is necessary to make America great?

Leopold Montagna