LI HERALD: Tax receiver Clavin deserves another four years

Herald LogoIt’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. How much fun can it be it to collect taxes from the already overburded residents of the Town of Hempstead? Republican incumbent Donald X. Clavin Jr. strives to make the process as painless as possible — and seems as enthusiastic about the receiver of taxes job as when he was first elected to it in 2001.

Clavin’s office collects taxes for the town’s 99 special districts and 33 school districts, as well as county taxes on properties within the town’s borders, and disperses money to school district treasuries. He has made things easier for taxpayers by creating two satellite tax offices in Lawrence and Hicksville, and extended office hours during tax season. He uses the Mobile Town Hall van for everything from making collections to answering residents’ questions. He has implemented email and text message reminder programs, and residents can now pay their tax bills by credit card or e-check, online or by telephone. Clavin also created the first taxpayer drive-through payment window in the state.

He persuaded former Gov. George Pataki to extend tax payment deadlines for families affected by the 9/11 attacks, and, a year later, he led the effort to pass state legislation known as the Clavin Law, which forces banks to pay the tax penalties if they don’t notify their mortgage customers of their legal rights and responsibilities upon satisfaction of their mortgages.

In 2011, he successfully lobbied for state legislation to allow for future e-tax bills and receipts for residents who opt into the program. He is especially proud of that bill, which he said will save millions of dollars in mailing and production costs, modernize government and help the environment.

Clavin is also proud of the town’s newly redesigned tax bills, which are much easier to read and understand. He says that Nassau County’s assessment system “doesn’t work at all,” and urges homeowners to challenge their assessments if they think the numbers are wrong.

Clavin’s accessibility is evidenced by the numerous seminars, workshops and open forums that he hosts in communities throughout the town. He says he doesn’t want his job or the tax process to grow stale, and we believe he will keep the office up-to-date in what he calls our “e-society.”

His challenger, Democrat Gina Arcaboscio, didn’t appear to be actively campaigning for the position, and did not respond to our calls or emails.

The Herald endorses Clavin for another four-year term as receiver of taxes.

 

Source: Long Island Herald

October 29, 2015