Ann Mazze is a spunky 95-year-old woman who resides in Levittown -- as she has for more than 50 years. However, an unexpected Nassau County mistake put her in a financial bind until the county legislature stepped in to help.
The Nassau County Department of Assessment mistakenly reported due to a clerical error that Mazze had died, causing her to lose her Enhanced STAR for low-income seniors, her military tax exemption, and many other exemptions that help to ease her tax burden. This problem translated to Mazze paying $800 more a month, with the latest tax bill clearing her mortgage escrow.
According to Nassau County Legislator John Ferretti, the changes to Mazze's taxes were quite significant -- to the tune of a nearly 300 percent increase.
The county said it would fix the issue, but the resolution wasn't simple -- the Nassau County Legislature had to pass legislation to fix the problem. Feretti's office issued a statement Friday saying Mazze had finally been reimbursed.
"I'm very sad, and very angry at all that has happened," Mazze told News 4 in May.
"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," Mazze's daughter, Lori Goldman, said at the time.
Why Mazze was accidentally declared dead, however, was not immediately clear. Mazze says the assessor's office told her they "assumed" she was dead. Meanwhile, the county said it corrected the problem April 22.
"Do I look dead to you? I don't know how they came up with this conclusion," Mazze said in May. "I want this fixed. I want this fixed now so I can go on with my life!"
County officials said earlier this year their records didn't indicate that Mazze was dead, and they don't know why someone in the office would have told her that.