December 10, 2012

Speaker Silver Announces New York City
Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act

Legislation Would Provide Tax Relief for Properties Catastrophically Impacted by Storm

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) today introduced legislation (A.39) to provide property tax relief to New York City home owners and businesses in the wake of the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. The New York City Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act, if adopted by New York City, would allow property owners that experienced catastrophic damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy to apply for property tax assessment reductions according to a sliding scale.

More than 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Property owners continue their efforts to rebuild, however, they are faced with unknown factors including the full extent of repairs as well as when and even if they will receive financial assistance.

"Hurricane Sandy caused devastating destruction throughout New York City. Many homes and businesses are significantly damaged or were completely destroyed. New Yorkers are faced with high costs to rebuild and repair," said Silver. "Home owners and businesses should not be expected to pay taxes based on property assessments made prior to the storm. All levels of government must work together to provide relief to taxpayers in light of dramatically altered real property values."

The assessment reduction would apply to property owners that lost at least 50 percent in assessed value as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Reductions would be assessed on a sliding scale:

In order for a property tax payer to receive assessment relief, a written request for consideration must be submitted to the New York City Department of Finance, which would determine the percentage of lost value. Assessment changes would be subject to review by the New York City Tax Commission if requested by the property owner.

This measure has been cosponsored by the following Assembly members: Phillip Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach); Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island); Michele R. Titus (D- Queens); Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx); Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Brooklyn); Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn); Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan); Felix W. Ortiz (D-Brooklyn); Matthew Titone (D-North Shore); Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn); and Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn).

The bill, which would amend the New York State Real Property Tax Law, is specific to New York City. Assemblyman Robert Sweeney plans to introduce the Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act which would provide property tax reductions for property that was damaged or destroyed in other areas declared a disaster area due to Sandy.