I only want what's fair

If you were unhappy about the property taxes on your home, to whom would you take your complaint? Answer: probably the local board of assessors. That's what Harvey Levinson did when he discovered that his two-bedroom Garden City, N.Y., condominium had been valued at $502,080. Levinson is asking the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission on Long Island to lop off more than $200,000 of that sum – a change that, if granted, would lower his tax bill for 2009 from $13,000 to roughly $11,300. Not that he can't afford the levy. His salary (which is a matter of public record since he's on the county payroll) is more than $166,000. Plus, he's collecting a $72,000-a-year pension for having been a prosecutor for 27 years. But, he argues, a clerical error is responsible for inflating his assessment by 75 percent and that 1,600 other condos are affected as well. Hmmm, seems as though he has researched the matter pretty thoroughly to be armed with so much information. Then again, it could be that he'd know anyway ... since he happens to be chairman of the board of assessors. Ah, but the beneficiary – should his request be approved – will be the next owner of his condo, he says. That's because he expects to retire to Florida before the lower tax bill would kick in. As for the commission, it vows to treat Levinson's appeal as it would any other taxpayer's.

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