Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that legislation (S.5592) that he has sponsored which would include Columbia County in the Flood Assessment Relief Act of 2005 has passed the Senate.
Because many homes were severely damaged or completely destroyed during the flood of April 2, 2005 they no longer hold the same value they did on March 1, 2005. The legislation would allow taxpayers whose property was seriously damaged in the flood of April 2, 2005 to grieve their assessment to the local Board of Assessment Review. The Board would then revalue the property based on the value of the home after the flood.
The legislation allows the counties that have been declared disaster areas to change their taxable status date from March 1, 2005 to April 15, 2005 if they choose to do so. The assessor would be authorized to request that the assessments of seriously damaged homes be valued based on their after-flood value.
"This legislation would add Columbia County to the list of counties that may have assessments reconsidered in light of the flood damage from April 2nd" said Senator Saland. "This legislation would make certain that property owners victimized by these floods are not unfairly taxed."
In addition to Columbia County this legislation also adds Cayuga, Chautaugua, Madison, Niagara, Putnam and Westchester.