Even as school districts continue to sue Nassau County over the turnover of a portion of property tax liabilities, districts are still preparing should they in fact lose the suit and have to pay property tax owners refunds.
During their monthly meeting at the on June 11, the New Hyde Park Garden City-Park Board of Education approved an agreement with its law firm regarding the tax certiorari petitions served on them in connection with the tax rolls approved by Nassau County that any liability served upon the district of $25,000 or more be sent to counsel for review.
“This is entering into an agreement with our legal counselors to go in and challenge any tax certs claimed over $25,000 so that we’re not just going to roll over and die dead,” superintendent Robert Katulak said, “because it could be big money, especially when you end up with big concerns or commercial property.”
These settlements occur when residents and businesses challenge their tax bill and assessments and the county makes adjustments for their mistakes and people are reimbursed for paying an excess amount of tax. Previously the county would make up the difference for the schools since it controlled the assessing, yet after , school districts would have to for any moneys they reimburse on their behalf.
“What the did to us was not only did they but they said we have to go out and retain the counsel to challenge,” board vice-president Joseph Bongiorno said, noting it was conditional on the outcome of the pending lawsuit.
The superintendent said that the district had kept a separate budget line for all the APPR costs and at the end of the financial year a report would be issued for the amount the district had to pay in unfunded mandated costs, including the local assessments.
“We’re not the ones who do the assessment,” Bongiorno said. “Nassau County can screw it up and then they can look to us and basically say ‘you have to pay for our mistake’ and in addition to that you have to pay your counsel to go out and challenge this.”
The case is still in the appeal process.