When an old woman from Long Island suddenly witnessed her taxes increase by twelve times, she knew that something was wrong. Official records show that school taxes for Nassau County’s Ann Mazze, 94, skyrocketed from $327.04 in 2020 to $4,773.48 in 2021. But those were not the only increases. The 94-year-old woman also watched as her general taxes increased from $2,637.10 in 2020 to $3,147.95 in 2021.
The old woman from Long Island first noticed the change when she received her mortgage statement for February. She knew that it must have been an error because she had never seen an increase like that throughout her entire life. Because of the error, Mazze’s mortgage statement increased by more than $800 per month.
As it turned out, Mazze’s taxes increased because she was declared dead. Although the 94-year-old was still very much alive and kicking, Nassau County, Long Island tried to stick her with a massive tax bill after the officials removed a senior property tax benefited called Enhanced STAR. In addition, her town also removed her veteran tax exemption, which she earned through her husband, who served in the United States military.
On Wednesday, Mazze attended a press conference where she put her spunky personality on display.
“They thought that I was dead. Do I look dead to you?” the old woman said. “I want this fixed. I want this fixed now so I can go on with my life.”
Before Mazze turned to the media to share her story, she pleaded with the local government to get the error fixed. However, Long Island officials were dragging their feet and did not address the old woman’s issue. This left Mazze with little else to do but bring her hot story to the press. No one ignores Ann Mazze and gets away with it.
“We enquired several times in the assessment department, calling everybody we could think of – countless phone calls. But getting no results.”
After her press conference, a fire was put under Nassau County officials. As a result, Nassau County spokesperson Michael Fricchione released a statement confirming that Mazze would be receiving a refund immediately.
“The taxpayer’s daughter was in contact with the Department of Assessment on April 22, 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.
According to family estimates, Mazze is owed between $5,000 and $6,000.
In February, Mazze and her daughter, Lori Goldman, were stunned to see the tax bill increase so sharply. Mazze and Goldman tried to get to the bottom of the error but did not have any luck until Fricchione stepped up to help. The error was determined to have occurred when the assessor’s office presumed her dead.
In a conversation with Daily Mail, Goldman said she suspects the error was made when she purchased the house from her mother in 2019. Documents indicate that the county removed Mazze’s name from the deed even though she was supposed to remain on it along with Goldman and her husband.
“We’ve been going through this since February. We’ve received a letter from the bank with this huge increase, calling people. She’s upset. She’s actually a cancer survivor from last year, and we are very fortunate that she’s well, and we didn’t need this added stress. It’s just been really terrible,” Goldman told ABC 7.
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