Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk to aid property owners hurt by this summer’s flooding unanimously passed the State Senate today.
Immediately following the flooding of Fort Plain in Montgomery County, Senator Tkaczyk introduced legislation to allow impacted businesses and homeowners to have their property taxes reassessed and lowered to reflect the flood-damaged status of their home or property.
Senator Tkaczyk said, “It is simply not fair that flood victims are expected to pay property taxes based on the pre-flood condition and value of their property. Even worse, it can hamper recovery efforts because people have so many other expenses to deal with. This legislation would help the victims by lowering their tax bills to reflect the decreased value of their property.”
A version of that measure (S5931) passed the Senate today, together with a second bill (S5985) that would create an income tax credit for flood victims. Two additional measures were also passed, S5987 would establish a supplemental state disaster aid program and S6345 would create the upstate flood mitigation task force within the canal corporation.
Senator Tkaczyk toured Fort Plain immediately after the flooding, which damaged or destroyed more than 250 homes and businesses. She assisted with clean-up, met with local leaders, business people and homeowners, and brought investors and community development experts into the area to build relationships with local officials.
She developed her legislation after meeting with local official and community leaders to discuss the needs and the challenges they faced in the recovery effort. She 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.”