Woman, 94, loses tax exemptions when she is assumed dead

LEVITTOWN, Long Island (WABC) -- An elderly woman on Long Island is frustrated with a county mistake that forced her to pay higher taxes after someone mistook her for dead.

The 94-year-old woman is demanding thousands of dollars in a tax refund from Nassau County after she lost two tax exemptions.

"I'm very upset and very angry at all that's happened," said Ann Mazze, of Levittown.

Mazze said when she realized she lost her veteran tax exemption and her enhanced senior tax exemption, her daughter called the Nassau County Department of Assessment and she said someone in the office told her daughter they assumed Mazze was dead.

"Do I look dead to you?" Mazze said.

As a result of the loss of the tax exemptions, Mazze's property taxes went from $2,694 a year to $7,921. Her monthly mortgage payment increased by $800.

Lori Goldman, Mazze's daughter, said someone in the Assessment Office acknowledged the error.

"They said it will be corrected, but it has to go through a process channel, which would be over a year's worth of time," Goldman said.



In the meantime, Mazze and Goldman have been on the hook for the higher mortgage payments.

"We said we're paying a lot of additional monies every month to get this satisfied because it's in our names and basically they didn't care, they said, 'Well, this is what we have to do,'" Goldman said of her conversation with someone in the Assessment Office.

Goldman estimates they're out $5,000 to $6,000.

Mazze and Goldman said they tried contacting people in the Nassau County administration, including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, but no one helped them.

Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti Jr. said he also tried to help Mazze and Goldman.

"We've been attempting to get in touch with the administration. We haven't been getting answers either," he said.

Ferretti Jr. organized a press conference outside Mazze's home on Wednesday.

Nassau County spokesperson Michael Fricchione said in a statement to Eyewitness News, "The taxpayer's daughter was in contact with the Department of Assessment on April 22nd and corrections were made right away, along with a petition that will be approved by the legislature on Monday to refund the taxpayer."

Fricchione said a refund check should be mailed to Mazze on Monday.

He said it's unfortunate that an elderly woman was used as a political prop by politicians when a solution has already been found.

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