To the Editor:
In 1972, New Yorkers across the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley were faced with massive flooding following the devastating rains of Hurricane Agnes. In 2006, New Yorkers in the Southern Tier were once again faced with torrential rains that resulted in overwhelming flooding. This flooding was once again responsible for the loss of life and millions of dollars’ worth of damage.
The Governor’s budget does not contain any language providing flood relief for taxpayers. In the Assembly and Senate, the only measure currently moving out of committee still requires property owners to pay taxes on post-flood assessments and allows local governments to bond out their debt. This is helpful legislation but not the best option.
I have introduced alternative legislation in the Assembly, sponsored by State Senator John Bonacic in the State Senate, which improves upon the current bill. It is modeled after legislation passed in 1973, by relieving taxpayers in the counties declared disaster areas from paying their property taxes for last year. It would also require that New York State hold local governments and school districts harmless by covering the loss in tax revenue.
This is common-sense legislation for an uncommon occurrence. I am calling on the Senate and Assembly to act immediately on the bills sponsored by Senator Bonacic and myself to provide real relief from last year’s flooding.
Member of Assembly