In a decision with implications for EVERY commercial property owner in Nassau County, a State Supreme Court Justice has ruled that Nassau County's ASIE penalties amount to an illegal tax.
Starting in 2013, Nassau County sought to raise revenues by drastically increasing penalties against commercial property owners who they claim failed to file an Annual Statement of Income and Expenses (ASIE).
In addition to crippling fines, the County also threatened to slap liens on the properties.
The County's stated purpose was to secure more and better information with which to set fair and accurate assessments. Though the County offered no proof about the amount of data required or the impact of the missing ASIE information on the Assessor, suddenly missing or incomplete data was the root of all of the County's famous assessment woes.
However, over the course of a year's worth of litigation a secondary rationale emerged: penalizing commercial property owners based on the value of their property could deliver multimillions into the County's chronically empty coffers.
Ultimately, the Court found that none of the money collected was ever allocated for assessment purposes. This was an illegal "backdoor" tax from the jump.
Without approval from Albany, Nassau County could not legally implement this new tax on commercial property owners.
Property owners who feared liens that would have held their properties hostage have already paid over $1,000,000 to the County pursuant to this unlawful cash-grab.
An appeal by the County seems inevitable, but in the meantime, Nassau's beleaguered commercial property owners have an early Christmas gift.
If you own ANY property in Nassau County, you owe it to yourself to have a professional review your real estate tax burden. Let Meyer Suozzi provide you with a free property tax checkup. Paying taxes is your obligation. Paying only your fair share is your right (but ONLY if you enforce it)!
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