Business owners say Nassau County owes them millions

April 2, 2013 2:57:08 PM PDT
Louann Vallone's family has owned a manufacturing business in Nassau County since 1961. Times have gotten tough recently.

She had to sell one dye cutting presses, put one of her buildings up for sale and layoff 20 employees.

All this because, she says, Nassau County owes her more than 60 thousand dollars in tax refunds.

"I'd like just to be able to get back doing business and not worry if I'm able to open my doors." Vallone said.

Laureen Harris represents Vallone and 300 other business owners in Nassau who are fighting for 192-million dollars that the county owes them. In 2011 a court ruled that the county had to pay up because the county over-assessed the properties, but the money never came.

"The county continues to refuse to pay," Harris said. "This is one where the government is on the side of the taxpayers."

Nassau County attorney John Champolee says the county is ready to pay up but is being blocked by the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority, a state agency that's meant to monitor and oversee the county's finances

"NIFA has taken a vote to block us from using 150 million of the 192 million dollars which would go a long way to getting the money into the hands of the taxpayers who are entitled to it," Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli said.

We attempted to speak with a number of people at NIFA today including the chairman and several board members.

Meanwhile,the clock continues to tick for people like Joseph Curcio. The office building he owns in Hicksville is now in foreclosure because the county owes him 112-thousand dollars in tax refunds.

"What the politicians have to realize is that the games they play have real life consequences to people ESP small business owners," he said.

And it will be Deja vu for many of them later this month when a judge is set to rule yet again if the county needs to pay up. @KristinThorne Sent from my iPad