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Plainview Superintendent Blasts County for 'Shifting Tax Burden'

In a message to residents, Lewis demands that county officials fix their "broken tax assessment system."

Dr. Lorna Lewis, superintendent of Plainview Schools. (Photo credit: POB Schools)
Dr. Lorna Lewis, superintendent of Plainview Schools. (Photo credit: POB Schools)
Plainview schools Superintendent Dr. Lorna R. Lewis issued the following statement on the district's website this week, criticizing Nassau County's tax assessment system.

Dr. Lewis said the county is shifting its tax burden onto local school districts, which accounts for the disparity between what the district's approved budget increase last May and the tax bills residents are getting now.

See the complete chart on the district's website here.

Here is the statement:

"The 2013-14 school budget that was overwhelmingly supported by the residents in the Plainview-Old Bethpage community carried with it a proposed tax levy increase of 2.89 percent.  You have just received your tax bill and are probably wondering why the increase you voted on is different from the one in your tax bill. Simply put, tax rates are established by the practices of the Nassau County Assessor and that office is solely responsible for the difference between the tax levy increase proposed by the district and your tax rate.

"In Nassau County, there are four classes of property, each with its own tax rate: Class 1 is for single-family homes; Class 2 is for apartments and condominiums; Class 3 is for utility company properties; and Class 4 is for commercial properties such as factories, offices and stores. Each year, the county determines how much of the overall tax burden will be paid by property owners in each of the four classes. This is called the "adjusted base proportion," because it represents the proportion of the total tax levy paid by property owners in each of the four classes. The distribution of property taxes among the four classes is entirely under the authority of the county.

"Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD proposed a budget increase for 2013-14 of 2.98 percent with a tax levy increase of 2.89 percent. Unfortunately for the homeowners of Plainview-Old Bethpage, the county assessor decided to grant assessment reduction claims to 87 percent of the claimants county-wide and, in addition, decided that our homeowners should carry a larger portion of the tax burden. The combined impact on the homeowner of the 3.76 percent reduction in assessed value and 1.02 percent increase in the portion of taxes to be paid means the tax rate increase for homeowners in POB (8 percent) is almost triple the tax levy increase you approved in May (2.89 percent!)

"For homeowners who did not file a claim that their property's assessed value should be lower, the increase in their tax bill will be three times as high as they might have expected based on the budget presented in May — and not a penny of the difference is attributable to the school district.

"Even if the district budget had a zero percent increase, the average homeowner in Plainview-Old Bethpage would have seen a 5 percent tax increase. Nassau County officials are shifting an ever growing tax burden onto homeowners, while claiming they are not raising taxes. It's time for our county officials to stop blaming our schools and take responsibility for fixing the broken tax assessment system"

See the chart on the district's website here that presents the case by the numbers. The chart shows all 52 school districts in Nassau County. 

George October 11, 2013 at 07:19 PM
OK so what do we do?
MG October 11, 2013 at 11:10 PM
were kinda screwed bc the county assesor put the final burden - but if you look at your budget line items - 42% is pension and medical costs - you know have in POB more retirees on the payroll then active teachers and staff -these pensions cannot be amended and if the Board tries to adjust lets say down 2-3% it would cause all hell - we are in a first time ever demographic shit for the next 20yrs - regardless of your politics the tidal wave keeps coming - and will not stop -
LS October 12, 2013 at 11:59 AM
The superintendent of POB makes more than the Chancellor of the New York City school system. POB has about 5,000 students, New York City has about one million.
Frank Ruggiero October 12, 2013 at 07:16 PM
She makes $270k per year. The average cost per student in Plainview is 21000 per year. In the city they average cost per student is $70000. Mangano tried to combine every 4 school districts under one superintendent. If he could have gotten it passed it would have save the county 40 million a year in school taxes. But every school union stormed the legislature and protested. As for her blaming the county assessor , the county pays the schools the difference they lose from the re assessments, so te schools get all the tax money and whatever is not paid in our school taxes, the county makes up for it
Peter Friend October 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM
the tax rate is determine by dividing the budget by taxable entities. Simple math. Cut the spending


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