Tkaczyk: State Legislature Must Return to Help Montgomery County

Cecilia Tkaczyk

August 13, 2013

 State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk said it is imperative the State Legislature return to Albany before local property tax bills are sent out to help property owners in Montgomery County that were devastated by the recent flooding..

 Senator Tkaczyk introduced legislation that would allow, at local option, people to seek a lowered property tax assessment for their flood damaged homes and businesses (S.5915).  The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed Tkaczyk’s measure at their July 23 meeting.

 “My legislation would help the people of Fort Plain rebuild their lives, their homes and their businesses,” Senator Tkaczyk said. “Property owners will be focused in the months ahead on replacing their furnaces, repairing their electrical systems and removing hazardous mold from their homes. They should not have the additional burden of an unfair tax bill, based on the pre-flood condition of their property, looming on the horizon.”

 Tkaczyk has spent many days in Fort Plain since the flooding.  She also organized a tour of the village with investors and economic developers, introducing them to local business owners to discuss the tools and resources that are available to begin the rebuilding of the community.

 “I’ve seen firsthand how incredibly resilient the people here are. But I’ve also seen just how overwhelming this tragedy has been, and it is clear that Fort Plain needs help,” she said.

 Returning to Albany would also allow the State Legislature to compensate local municipalities for the loss of tax revenues. “The flood damaged towns and villages have suffered greatly, and spent so much on clean-up and assisting people in need. If they opt-in to help their residents rebuild, the State should be there to help them absorb the loss of revenue,” Senator Tkaczyk said.

 Tkaczyk noted that bringing the Legislature back to Albany for action does not require that the Governor call for a “Special Session.” The Senate and Assembly currently stand adjourned, and can be recalled to Albany by their respective leaders at any time.

 “What is required is the commitment of our leaders to finish that which was left undone. There is no time, nor reason, to wait,” she said.