State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk has introduced legislation that would aid property owners in flood-ravaged portions of her Senate District.
The measure would allow businesses and homeowners in Montgomery County who have been hit by the flooding to have their property taxes reassessed and lowered to reflect the flood-damaged status of their home or property.
Senator Tkaczyk said, “Under the current law, property owners would still have to pay taxes based on the pre-flood condition and value of their property, which is simply not fair. My legislation would lower their tax bill to compensate for the decreased value of their property.”
Under the Flood Assessment Relief Act of 2013, property owners, both homeowners and businesses, would be able to seek a reassessment from the local Board of Assessment Review, and local assessors would be authorized to request assessments of seriously damaged home be based on the property's after-flood value.
Senator Tkaczyk said she began preparing the legislation after touring Fort Plain the day after the flooding, which damaged or destroyed more than 250 homes.
The measure would hold school districts harmless for the loss of STAR reimbursement by the state as a result of lowered assessments. Senator Tkaczyk also wants the State to take further action to reimburse local governments for lost tax revenue.
“It is important that we provide immediate relief to the property owners who have been hit the hardest,” she said. “But we have to ensure that local governments are not doubly saddled with the cost of recovery as well as the loss of revenues from sales tax, property tax and other sources.”
Senator Tkaczyk is hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declares the flooded regions of the State a disaster area, which would open the door to federal assistance for recovery efforts. She supports Governor Cuomo’s decision to call the Legislature back to Albany to deal with the crisis if FEMA does not act.