Category Archives: Donald X. Clavin

‘Pet’ The Stress Away: Taxpayers Get 1st Ever Pet Therapy While Paying Taxes

There’s no denying it: paying taxes can be rather stressful. Luckily, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and some avid animal advocates, have invited the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter to bring some furry friends to the Receiver of Taxes Office in order to help taxpayers pet the stress away. During the last three days of the collection period, beginning Wednesday, August 8th, the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter will be visiting the tax office along with some eager cats and dogs with enough love to go around. What’s more, taxpayers can bring home a little “tax dividend” by adopting a cuddly dog or cat.

 

“It’s a running joke that whenever I’m introduced as the Receiver of Taxes, everyone boos,” said Clavin. “It’s all in good humor, but it just reinforces the fact that taxes are all work and no fun. Well, I’ve enlisted the aid of some loveable animals to make my office a more exciting, fun-filled place to pay your taxes. And, you can make the fun never-ending by adopting a cat or dog while paying your taxes.”

 

This is the first ever pet therapy program to be held in a tax office. Interaction with an endearing animal has been linked to lower stress. According to the National Center for Biotechnical Information, contact with pets can counteract everyday stress and anxiety by lowering stress hormones and heart rate. What’s more, the National Institute of Mental Health states one of the best ways to deal with stress is to spend some quality time with a kitten or a puppy.

 

“The best part about this idea is that it promotes the practice of adopting a pet instead of shopping for a pet,” commented Clavin. “We receive an abundance of taxpayers who prefer to pay their taxes in person at the last minute. By showcasing our beloved animal shelter pets, we’re putting our ‘best paw forward’ and garnering interest in visiting the shelter.”

 

Hempstead Town Animal Shelter boasts one of the highest adoption rates in the nation. All adopted pets will be spayed or neutered, will be microchipped and will receive all required inoculations free of charge. Located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh, the shelter is open from 9am to 5pm on Sunday and Monday, 9am to 8pm on Thursday and 9am to 6pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information regarding the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter, please call the shelter at (516)785-5220.

 

“Playing with a cat or a dog is a great way to reduce the stress that can be associated with paying your taxes,” said Goosby. “I’m proud to support this program that benefits not only our residents, but also the rescued cats and dogs of the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter.”

 

“This pet therapy initiative makes the tax office a more enjoyable place to visit as well as showcasing some adoptable, loving animals. Remember to adopt, not shop when looking for a furry friend of your own,” said D’Esposito.

 

When paying your taxes, be sure to pick up a “Pet Fire Rescue Sticker” courtesy of Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin. A Pet Fire Rescue Sticker is a waterproof decal that details the amount of pets living in a household. The stickers can be placed on the front door of a residence to inform first-responders as to the number of pets in the household in case of emergency.

 

“I want to thank the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter for bringing a few furry friends on over to the tax office to help reduce some tax-related stress,” said Clavin. “I look forward to inviting some of the shelter’s furry family to future collections and am confident that this exposure will lead to more rescue animals finding forever homes.”

 

Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage

Clavin Announces Bi-Partisan Law Guarding Against Censorship on Government Website, Social Media

Nearly two months after Hempstead Town’s administration censored an official press release on the government’s website, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin thanked a bipartisan group of Town Board members for approving his legislation, which was sponsored by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Majority Leader Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. The legislation, approved at a recent Hempstead Town Board meeting, prohibits this unacceptable threat to free speech from happening again in the future. Also joining them in support of the measure were Councilmembers Ed Ambrosino, Bruce Blakeman and Dennis Dunne, Sr.

 

Proposed by Clavin, and introduced to the Town Board by the bipartisan coalition of councilmembers, the legislation protects free speech and guards against unwarranted censorship. Under the legislation, elected officials are now authorized to place press releases on the town’s website and social media outlets without securing approvals from the administration or other town officials.

 

“I thank the Hempstead Town Board for approving this important legislation that protects freedom of speech within our government,” Clavin said. “After all, as America’s largest township, we should be able to operate within the rights that are guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, and never be censored when it comes to serving our taxpayers.”

 

This legislation was drafted in June, shortly after the town’s administration removed a Clavin press release from the government website, toh.li. Clavin held a press conference on Monday, June 11, 2018, which announced a successful campaign by the Receiver, some county legislators and a group of angry senior citizens, calling upon the Nassau County Department of Assessment to reverse its decision to halt the mailing of important property value notices to Nassau homeowners. The notices provide important information, and the contents are the basis upon which many homeowners decide whether or not to challenge their property taxes. The press conference was accompanied by a press release, a key part of the effort to advise the public of the fact that they will continue to receive vital property tax information from county government.

 

The Supervisor’s administration approved the press release and posted it to the town’s website. However, almost as soon as the press release appeared, it was stricken from the town’s website by the administration’s staff on June 14, 2018. Clavin immediately wrote to the Town Board, asking for a legislative measure that would prevent such an action from happening again.

 

“The First Amendment is near and dear to my heart, as I have fought tirelessly to protect free speech and our constitutional rights for decades,” Goosby said. “Censorship is unacceptable here in America’s largest township, and I support this legislation because it will protect us from those who would limit our right to free speech.”

 

“To achieve true transparency in government, we must ensure that our town’s website and social media channels are free of censorship,” King Sweeney said. “The town’s website, in particular, is a key resource for residents seeking municipal documents and contracts, as well as event listings and important public service announcements. I proudly support this legislation to protect the free speech of elected officials representing America’s largest township.”

 

“Government press releases are vital sources of information for our residents, and no elected official or staffer has the right to block another elected official from distributing them through the town’s website or social media channels,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “It’s quite disturbing that the current administration decided to expunge an informative press release submitted by our tax receiver’s office. However, under the new legislation, no one will be above the law.” D’Esposito also cited that at least one of his office’s press releases was censored by the administration from appearing on the Town of Hempstead website.

 

The legislation that Clavin and his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board championed provides all Hempstead Town elected officials with direct access to the township’s website and social media channels, providing them with the ability to post press releases, videos and other content that is related to activities, proposals, statements and other undertakings done in the course of their work on behalf of the residents whom they are elected to represent. The content can relate to local, county, state, federal or other governmental issues or other topics of interest or which promote the general welfare of the town’s residents. Further, the legislation prohibits any town official or his/her staff from overseeing, approving, disapproving, removing, altering or otherwise editing the press releases, videos or other related content of the town’s elected officials.

 

“Communicating with residents is so crucial to governing,” said Councilman Ed Ambrosino. “To censor materials created by town officials is a violation of the principles upon which our nation was founded. This legislation protects our First Amendment rights, and I fully support it.”

 

“My late father was a proud veteran who courageously fought for our rights as Americans, and he would be proud of all of us for protecting our right to free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” Councilman Bruce Blakeman said. “This legislation safeguards our ability as elected officials to disseminate important news and announcements to our residents without being censored. That’s something we can all rally around as Hempstead Town residents, and as Americans.”

 

“Being a veteran, I know a thing or two about protecting the freedoms which comprise the building blocks of our nation,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne. “To try to tamper with our right to free speech is an insult to all of those who have fought or sacrificed their lives for our country. I support this legislation because it solidifies our right to express free speech in Hempstead Town without censorship.”

 

Clavin thanked the Town Board members for their support of the important free speech legislation.

 

“The First Amendment can never be taken for granted,” Clavin said. “Censoring elected officials from communicating with the constituents whom they represent violates our constitutional rights. I thank my Town Board colleagues for their support and for approving this vital legislation.”

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead

Fighting for Free Speech – Bi-partisan Proposal Would Guard against Censorship After Town Administration Removes Elected Official’s Press Release from Government Website

A week after Hempstead Town’s administration removed an official press release authored by Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin from its website, a bi-partisan coalition of town Council Members are joining the Receiver to propose legislation that would protect free speech and guard against unwarranted censorship. Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, along with several other members of the Town Board have joined forces to ensure that elected officials can place press releases on the town’s website and social media outlets without securing approvals from the administration or other town officials. The legislation would also prohibit a recurrence of an incident whereby the town’s administration removed a Clavin press release from the township’s website. At the press announcement, town officials stated that their proposal “drew a line in the sand” in support of the First Amendment.

 

“Freedom of speech is at the core of our democracy, and it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America,” said Clavin. “A bi-partisan group of Hempstead Town officials is coming together to protect the right of free speech and take steps to guard against censorship.”

 

The proposal that Clavin and his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board are championing would provide all Hempstead Town elected officials with direct access to the township’s website and social media channels, providing them with the ability to post press releases, videos and other content that is related to activities, proposals, statements and other undertakings done in the course of their work on behalf of the residents whom they are elected to represent. The content can relate to local, county, state, federal or other governmental issues or other topics of interest or which promote the general welfare of the town’s residents. Further, the legislation would prohibit any town official or his/her staff from overseeing, approving, disapproving, removing, altering or otherwise editing the press releases, videos or other related content of the town’s elected officials.

 

“I am a champion of the First Amendment,” proclaimed Goosby. “I have lived through the experience of people trying to diminish my voice, and I will never accept inappropriate limits on free speech, and will continue to be a staunch fighter against government censorship.”

 

“A commitment to openness and transparency demands that all town elected officials have equal and unrestricted ability to place their press releases on the township’s official website for viewing by the public,” stated King Sweeney. “I have fought for commonsense reforms in our government and am proud to support local legislation on this issue.”

 

Clavin said that the need for the “free speech and censorship” legislation at the town level came out of an unfortunate experience that he recently confronted with a governmental press release that his office produced. The Receiver held a press conference on Monday, June 11, 2018, which announced a successful campaign by Clavin, some county legislators and a group of angry senior citizens, calling upon the Nassau County Department of Assessment to reverse its decision to halt the mailing of important property value notices to Nassau homeowners. The notices provide important information, and the contents are the basis upon which many homeowners decide whether or not to challenge their property taxes. The press conference was accompanied by a press release, a key part of the effort to advise the public of the fact that they will continue to receive vital property tax information from county government.

 

The Supervisor’s administration approved the press release and posted it to the town’s website. However, almost as soon as the press release appeared, it was stricken from the town’s website by the administration’s staff on June 14, 2018.

 

“No town elected official should have the power to approve, disapprove or remove the posting of news releases from Hempstead Town’s governmental website,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito. “I am happy to be working with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and my colleagues on the Town Board to present legislation that safeguards free speech and protects against censorship.”

 

“Giving residents access to more uncensored information from their public officials is at the core of good government,” said Councilman Ed Ambrosino. “I fully endorse a plan to allow all town elected officials to communicate with taxpayers without censorship by any government official or staff.”

 

“As a veteran, I am keenly aware that brave men and women have fought and died to protect our right to free speech,” stated Councilman Dennis Dunne. “Our freedoms are being taken away one step at a time, and I am committed to fighting for the preservation of the First Amendment at the town level.”

 

After the “disappearing press release” incident, Clavin wrote a letter to his colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board, dated June 15th, asking for the Council Members to take legislative action that would grant all elected officials full access and the ability to post their press releases on the township’s website.

 

“I agree with United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s statement, ‘The First Amendment, I think, is the jewel of our Constitution,’” concluded Clavin. “By providing full access to the township’s website for elected officials, we are protecting free speech in America’s largest township.

 

Visit the Town of Hempstead website

Clavin & Cabana To Host Bi-Lingual Tax Reduction Seminars

Expanding Hempstead Town’s services to Spanish-speaking residents, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana are hosting a first-ever series of bi-lingual tax reduction seminars, offering presentations and associated literature in both English and Spanish. The officials called the seminar series a great opportunity to help Spanish-speaking homeowners take advantage of property tax reduction programs such as property tax exemptions and assessment challenges. Joining Clavin and Cabana at an announcement of the new initiative were Gil Bernardino, Executive Director of Circulo De La Hispanidad; Margarita Grasing, Executive Director of the Hispanic Brotherhood; Rev. Daniel De Jesus, Pastor, Arc of Salvation Church in Oceanside and other Hispanic community leaders.

 

“The Hispanic community deserves access to the same tax relief as every other community in Hempstead Town,” stated Clavin. “By presenting bi-lingual tax reduction seminars, we will be delivering the tools needed for Spanish-speaking homeowners to take advantage of property tax exemption and assessment challenge information. I want to thank Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana for making this initiative possible.”

 

“It’s expensive to live on Long Island,” said Cabana. “That’s why presenting tax reduction seminars in a bi-lingual format is so important to Hispanic homeowners who live in our township. I am excited to be able to work with Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin on this project.”

 

The seminars, which are a concept that Clavin developed, will focus on a host of property tax exemptions including home improvement exemptions and senior citizen exemptions, as well as tax reducing programs for volunteer firefighters (ambulance workers), veterans and those with limited incomes or disabilities. Additionally, Clavin and Cabana will discuss how homeowners may challenge their property tax assessments. What’s more, the Receiver and Clerk will provide information on the new federal tax code and its impact on the deductibility of property taxes. Other topics to be covered include taxpayers’ rights, tax bill payment reminders, third party notifications, e-Billing and online tax payments, among other issues.

 

The following is a list of the scheduled bi-lingual tax reduction seminars:

  • May 30 at 7 p.m. at Freeport Memorial Library, 144 West Merrick Rd., Freeport
  • June 4 at 7 p.m. at Elmont Memorial Library, 700 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont
  • June 6 at 7 p.m. at Valley Stream, 123 South Central Ave., Valley Stream
  • June 7 at 7 p.m. at East Meadow Public Library, 1866 Front St., East Meadow
  • June 12 at 7 p.m. at Circulo Center, 605 Peninsula Blvd., Hempstead
  • June 20 at 7 p.m. at Oceanside Library, 30 Davison Ave., Oceanside
  • June 21 at 7 p.m. at Uniondale Public Library, 400 Uniondale Ave., Uniondale

 

Clavin said that he came up with the idea for the bi-lingual tax reduction forums after observing a lack of tax grievance and tax exemption related phone calls, office visits and tax forum attendance by members of the Hispanic community. The Receiver said it is clear that the language barrier has limited participation in such tax reducing programs. As a result, Clavin approached the Town Clerk, who is proficient in Spanish, asking her to present bi-lingual tax reduction programs with him.

 

“It became clear to me that we need to do more to make sure that the Hispanic community can take advantage of important tax reduction programs,” said Clavin. “That is why I have asked the Town Clerk to join me in presenting bi-lingual tax seminars.”

 

“This Bi-Lingual Tax Reduction Seminar series will break down the language barrier that has hampered members of the Hispanic community from filing for tax exemptions and assessment grievances that can result in lower property taxes,” said Gil Bernardino, Executive Director of Circulo de la Hispanidad. “I commend Receiver Clavin and Town Clerk Cabana for reaching out to the underserved Hispanic community and providing them with this important information.”

 

“I am looking forward to this bi-lingual seminar series, and I am delighted that Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana is partnering with me to bring genuine property tax relief to the Hispanic community,” concluded Clavin. “I hope to assist many homeowners in taking advantage of property tax savings.”

 

Visit Receiver of Taxes Clavin’s webpage

 

Calvin Y Cabana Presentan Seminario de Reducción de Impuestos Bilingues – Asistentes aprenderán sobre exenciónes, desafíos fiscales y más

 

Extendiendo los servicios del Pueblo de Hempstead a los residentes que hablan español, el Recaudador de Impuestos Don Clavin y la Secretaria del Pueblo Sylvia Cabana están demostrando la primera serie de seminarios bilingues para la reducción de impuestos, ofreciendo presentaciones y literatura asociada en ambos Ingles y Español. Los funcionarios llamaron a la serie de seminarios una gran oportunidad para ayudar a los propietarios que hablan español a aprovechar los programas de reducción de impuestos de propiedad, como exenciones de impuestos a la propiedad y desafios de evaluación. Uniendose con Clavin y Cabana en el anuncio de la nueva iniciativa fueron Gil Bernardino, el director ejecutivo de Circulo de la Hispanidad; Margarita Grasing, la directora ejecutivo de Hermandad Hispana de Rockville Centre; Rev. Daniel De Jesus, Pastor, Arc of Salvation Church in Oceanside y otras líderes de la comunidad hispana.

 

“La comunidad hispana merece el mismo acceso de Alivio de Impuestos como cualquier otra comunidad en el Pueblo de Hempstead,” indico Clavin. Al presentar seminarios de reducción de impuestos bilingües, nosotros estaremos entregando las heramientas necesarias para que todos los propietarios que hablan español tomen esta ventaja de exención de impuestos y desafíos de evaluación. “Quiero agradecer a la Secretaria del Pueblo Sylvia Cabana por hacer posible esta iniciativa.”

 

“Es caro vivir en Long Island” dice Cabana. “Por eso es muy importante demostrar un seminario de reducción de impuestos en un formato bilingüe a los propietarios que hablan español que viven en nuestro pueblo. Yo estoy muy emocionada de poder trabajar con el Recaudador de Impuestos Don Clavin en este proyecto.”

 

Los seminaries, que es un concepto que Clavin desarrolló, se concentraran en una serie de exenciones de impuestos a la propiedad incluyendo exenciones para el mejoramiento del hogar y exenciones para los ciudadanos mayores, tal como programas para la reducción de impuestos para bomberos voluntarios (de ambulancias), veteranos y aquellos con recursos limitados ó disabilidades. Adicional, Clavin y Cabana discutiran como los propietarios de sus hogares podran desafiar la evaluación de impuestos. Además, el Recaudador y la Secretaria van a proveer la información nueva del Codigo Federal de Impuestos y el impacto cuál traera la deducibilidad en el impuesto de su propiedad. Otros temas cuales seran cubiertos incluyen los derechos como contribuyente, aviso de pago de facturas de impuestos, notificaciónes de terceras partes, facturación electrónica y pagos de impuestos en linea, entre otros asuntos.

 

La siguiente es una lista de los seminarios de programas de reducción de impuestos bilingues:

  • 30 de Mayo, 7 p.m., Freeport Memorial Library, 144 West Merrick Rd., Freeport
  • 4 de Junio, 7 p.m., Elmont Memorial Library, 700 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont
  • 6 de Junio, 7 p.m., Valley Stream Village Hall, 123 S. Central Ave., Valley Stream
  • 7 de Junio, 7 p.m., East Meadow Public Library, 1866 Front St., East Meadow
  • 12 de Junio, 7 p.m., Circulo Center, 605 Peninsula Blvd., Hempstead
  • 20 de Junio, 7 p.m., Oceanside Library, 30 Davison Ave., Oceanside
  • 21 de Junio, 7 p.m., Uniondale Public Library, 400 Uniondale Ave., Uniondale

 

Clavin dijo que a él se le occurio la idea de los foros bilingües de reducción de impuestos después de observar una falta de agravio y llamadas telefonicas relacionadas con la exención de impuestos fiscales, visitas y asistencia a foros sobre impuesto por los miembros de la comunidad hispana. El Recaudador dice que está claro que la barrera del idioma ha limitado la participación en tales programas de reducción de impuestos. Como resultado, el se acercó a la Secretaria del Pueblo, que domina el español, pidiéndole que presente programas bi-lingües de reducción de impuestos con él.

 

“Quedó claro para mí que necesitamos hacer más para asegurarnos de que la comunidad hispana puedan beneficiarse de importantes programas de reducción de impuestos,” dijo Clavin. “Esa es la razón por la que he pedido a la secretaria de ayuntamiento a unirse a mí en la presentación seminarios de impuestos bi-lingüe.”

 

“Esta serie de seminarios de impuestos bilingües rompera las barreras del lenguaje que ha tenido la comunidad hispana para presentar exenciones de impuestos y reclamos de evaluación que pueden dar como resultado la reducción de sus impuestos de propriedad,” dijo Gil Bernardino, el director Ejecutivo del Circulo de la Hispanidad. “Yo elogio al Recaudador de Impuestos Clavin y a la Secretaria del Pueblo Cabana por tenderle la mano a la comunidad Hispana de desatendida, y ayudarla con esta importante información.”

 

“Estoy esperando esta serie de seminarios bilingües, y estoy encantado que la Secretaria del Pueblo Sylvia Cabana sea mi socia para traer un Alivio verdadero a la comunidad Hispana,” aviso Clavin. “Espero ayudar a muchos propietarios de viviendas en el aprovechamiento de los ahorros de impuestos sobre la propiedad.”

Town Tax Office Helps 20k Homeowners Deduct $120 Million On 2017 Income Tax Returns

Surrounded by dozens of tax office staffers, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin recounted the almost 20,000 concerned taxpayers who were served by his office during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve as homeowners scrambled to prepay their 2018 property taxes ahead of the January 1st deadline when the new federal tax code would take effect. The property owners mobilized to “beat the clock” on the new code in order to be able to deduct the 2018 property tax payments on 2017 income tax returns before the federal government imposed a $10,000 cap on deductions. As a result of the efforts of Clavin’s staff, Hempstead Town residents will deduct $118,047,794 in 2018 prepaid property taxes on their 2017 income tax returns. Celebrating the effort of his staff, the Receiver presented tax office workers with a 4-foot tall trophy, replete with a “piggy bank” topper, to commemorate the income tax savings that his team of government employees helped to facilitate for town homeowners. Joining Clavin and office personnel at a celebration was Hempstead Town CSEA Local 880 President Charles Sellitto and a taxpayer who took advantage of the program which has allowed her to deduct prepaid property taxes.

 

“When property owners were desperately seeking relief from the overwhelmingly negative consequences of the newly minted federal tax code, Hempstead Town workers in the Receiver’s Office threw out a lifeline to homeowners,” stated Clavin. “Municipal employees at the tax office worked overtime, came to the office on weekends, canceled planned vacation days, skipped lunch breaks and went the extra mile to help taxpayers prepay their 2018 property taxes so they could deduct the payments on 2017 income tax returns. Because of their efforts, over 20,000 taxpayers will deduct almost $120 million on their income taxes. I am proud to present my staff with a trophy for their Herculean efforts on behalf of Hempstead Town taxpayers.”

 

Indeed, Clavin’s office staff opened the doors to the Receiver’s Office between the hours of 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., commencing the day after Christmas and continuing each weekday through December 29th. What’s more, the Receiver’s Office took the unprecedented step of opening the office for payments on a weekend; Saturday, December 30th and New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31st. Finally, tax office staffers and other town personnel worked during the weekend before Christmas to prepare property tax data in response to a Governor’s Executive Order that directed local Receivers to accept the prepayment of certain 2018 property taxes.

 

“Town of Hempstead workers are the finest employees anywhere,” exclaimed Clavin. “They are caring, dedicated and embody the true spirit of the phrase ‘public service.’”

 

Clavin’s office was flooded with a stream of homeowners looking to prepay taxes on the day after Christmas. In fact, over 1,000 property owners lined up at the tax office in frigid temperatures to prepay taxes, ask questions and receive information on the prepayment of property taxes.

 

December 27th saw a line of over 2,000 property owners wrapped around the block surrounding the Receiver’s Office. Clavin capped off a frenetic week of tax office assistance to residents by hosting a New Year’s Eve session of tax collections, replete with coffee and donuts instead of the more traditional New Year’s Eve fare of champagne and noisemakers.

 

“I never thought I would be spending New Year’s Eve at the tax office,” stated Clavin. “However, it was a really rewarding experience to be able to help taxpayers during a very difficult time.”

 

“I was proud of the men and women who work in the Receiver’s Office, along with other town employees, who responded in a selfless and dedicated manner for the benefit of our taxpayers,” said Sellitto. “I am happy to join with Don Clavin in saluting the members of his staff who made a ‘Happy New Year’ a reality for many homeowners.”

 

The Receiver presented the trophy to his staff and closed the celebration by saying, “I couldn’t pick a better group of people with whom to work. They have made a tremendous and positive contribution to our residents, helping them to be able to deduct $120 million in 2018 property taxes on their 2017 income tax returns. Congratulations!”

 

Visit Receiver of Taxes Clavin’s webpage

Clavin Announces Veterans Educational Benefits Briefing & Veterans Property Tax Exemption Update

With the President of the United States recently signing the “Forever G.I.” bill into law and the Town of Hempstead’s approval of an expanded veterans property tax exemption, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin is hosting two important briefing sessions; the first in Hempstead and a second one in Hicksville. Educational benefits for veterans and their families, along with the town’s actions to make a temporary veterans property tax exemption permanent, comprise meaningful federal and local programs that will help those who have served in the armed forces.

 

“We have some really great news to share with veterans,” announced Clavin. “The federal government has recently enhanced educational benefits for veterans through the ‘Forever G.I.’ Act. This initiative expands important educational benefits that are already in place for vets and their families. Additionally, Hempstead Town has just expanded a property tax exemption for some veterans. I encourage all veterans and their families to attend one of the upcoming veterans’ briefings to learn more details about the exciting news.”

 

The two briefing sessions are intended to provide detailed information to veterans and their families on both veterans educational benefits and the town’s updates to the Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption. Additionally, Clavin and a veterans benefits counselor will answer questions, as well as arrange for appointments and “follow-up” on a host of veterans issues and benefits. The first session will occur on April 18th at 7 p.m. at Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville. The second program is slated for April 25th at 7 p.m. in the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion, Hempstead Town Hall, 1 Washington Street, Hempstead.

 

The “Forever G.I.” Act, also known as the “Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017,” enhances the G.I. bill, which has offered substantial tuition assistance and other supplementary benefits. The legislation has refocused attention on the issue of veterans educational benefits as a whole, and many veterans and their family members have questions about existing educational benefits that are available. The town’s veterans counselor will offer an overview of educational programs that are available.

 

“We owe a huge debt to our veterans, and providing enhanced educational benefits to our service members and veterans is one way in which we can say thank you,” announced Clavin. “I hope that veterans, service members and their families will attend our briefing sessions to learn more about everything our federal government has to offer in the area of educational benefits.

 

The property tax exemption portion of the update sessions will focus on a recent change to the Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption. In specific, Clavin proposed and the Town Board adopted an amendment that has made the exemption, which previously had a 10-year sunset provision, into a permanent tax break. The tax exemption applies to those veterans who served in active military, naval or air service of the United States between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 and their surviving spouses who have not remarried and maintain their primary residence in the Town of Hempstead.

 

“Making permanent the Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption recognizes the sacrifices that our brave veterans have made in defending our nation’s freedoms,” stated Clavin. “We have 1,500 Cold War Veterans registered in our township, and they deserve every benefit we can offer to them. G.I. educational benefits briefing and the Cold War Veterans Property Tax Exemption Update sessions offer important information to our veterans. I look forward to saluting our vets and their families at these meetings.”

 

Visit the Receiver of Taxes’ webpage

 

Clavin Releases Video on How to Grieve Assessments to Help Homeowners ‘Beat the Clock’

After Nassau extended its deadline for the filing of Property Tax Challenges to April 2nd, residents have been scrambling to “beat the clock” and get their property tax assessment challenges filed with the county. In an effort to assist homeowners, many who have expressed a desire for greater clarity on the assessment process, including property tax challenges, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin has produced a “how-to” video that takes residents through a step-by-step tutorial on grieving assessments. Clavin emphasized that homeowners should take advantage of the extra time provided for challenging their assessment, urging neighbors to view his video and file their grievances immediately. The original property tax deadline had been March 1st, prior to the county granting the filing extension to April 2nd. Clavin was joined by his colleagues in government Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr.

“I am happy that the Nassau County Executive has granted an extension of the deadline in which to challenge property tax assessments,” stated Clavin. “I encourage homeowners to take advantage of the extended deadline, visit our town’s website to view my instructional video and file your property tax grievance before April 2nd.”

 

The Receiver called the extended deadline “very important” in light of feedback that he has been receiving from the public at the over 30 taxpayer forums that he has hosted. Clavin observed that there has been widespread confusion over the property tax challenge deadline on the part of property owners who have attended the seminars. Further, homeowners have questions about the county’s assessment system, the grievance process, options and strategies with regard to pursuing assessment challenges in successive years, as well as the County Executive’s proposed assessment updates.

 

“Throughout my series of taxpayer seminars, it has become increasingly clear that widespread confusion exists about Nassau’s Assessment System, the county’s plan to update assessments, the extended deadline for challenging property taxes, as well as options and strategies of which homeowners should be aware,” said Clavin. “I have used the taxpayer forums to answer as many questions as possible on the issue of assessments, and the posting of this new “how-to” video on challenging assessments will help walk people through the tax grievance process. Among other things, the video will help resolve questions neighbors may have regarding how to go about challenging their assessments.”

 

Residents who would like to view the video guide to challenging assessments can visit the town’s website at https://toh.li/challenge-and-lower-your-taxes. The video can also be viewed on the Receiver of Taxes’ YouTube channel. Clavin encourages homeowners to call his office at 538-1500 and the Nassau County Department of Assessment at 571-1500 with questions regarding assessment challenges.

 

“Homeowners have a ‘golden opportunity’ to challenge their assessment as a result of the extended deadline, and I encourage neighbors to follow the video guide to grieving property taxes now,” commented Sweeney. Dunne agreed with his fellow councilmember remarking, “This how-to video guide is clear and easy to follow; I commend the Receiver for helping homeowners challenge their assessment.”

 

Clavin is continuing to host taxpayer seminars, as residents are still unaware of the deadline extension for filing a property tax challenge. What’s more, the Receiver observed that many homeowners were unclear over the county’s planned assessment update initiative and its prospective impact on property tax grievances. On the heels of a major news report that pointed out substantial property tax assessment inequities among similar homes in the same neighborhoods, Clavin indicated that neighbors need more information on assessment grievance options and strategies to ensure the greatest benefit. In specific, those who challenge assessments annually have, as a group, benefitted from lower assessments and taxes than neighbors who have not challenged their assessments or only challenged every few years, as opposed to annually. Finally, the Receiver also noted that many property owners are surprised to learn that assessment challenges do not require the services of a professional grievance firm.

 

“The combination of holding more taxpayer forums and releasing the video on challenging assessments constitute a strong effort to help homeowners deal with a very complex issue that is in a state of flux,” said Clavin. “Nassau County’s assessment system is broken, but Hempstead Town is continuing to help neighbors to challenge their assessments and lower their taxes.”

 

For a full listing of Clavin’s upcoming taxpayer forums, visit the Receiver’s page on Hempstead Town’s website https://toh.li/taxpayer-forums.

 

Visit Receiver Clavin’s webpage