Thiele Passes Property Tax Relief Legislation for Suffolk Homeowners Affected By Superstorm Sandy

In response to the catastrophic property damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) announced the Assembly passed the Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act (A.2294). The legislation would provide real property tax relief to Suffolk County residents whose properties were significantly impacted or destroyed by the catastrophic October 2012 storm.

“Superstorm Sandy inflicted widespread damage that has left many Suffolk families facing overwhelming rebuilding costs,” Thiele said. “This legislation would provide significant savings to families and property owners and would relieve at least some of the financial burden many New Yorkers are shouldering right now.”

The Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act must be adopted by eligible municipalities. The law would apply to properties that have lost 50 percent or more of their previously assessed property values in counties included in the federal disaster declarations for Superstorm Sandy. Revised property tax values, based on the percentage of property value lost, would be determined as follows:

  • a loss in value of between 50% and less than 60% would result in a 55% property tax reduction;
  • a loss in value of between 60% and less than 70% would result in a 65% property tax reduction;
  • a loss in value of between 70% and less than 80% would result in a 75% property tax reduction;
  • a loss in value of between 80% but less than 90% would result in an 85% property tax reduction;
  • a loss in value of between 90% and less than 100% would result in a 95% property tax reduction; and
  • a 100% loss in property value would reduce property taxes to zero.

“In a difficult time like this, rebuilding is not a luxury – it’s a necessity,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “It’s simply unfair to expect property owners to pay their full property taxes on a home that has been severely damaged or completely destroyed and has lost a great deal of its value. The Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act would provide the tax relief these families and property owners deserve in the wake of such a catastrophic storm.”

An assessor would determine the value lost due to Superstorm Sandy on a case-by-case basis. If requested by the taxpayer, the findings would be subject to review by the Board of Assessment Review or the Assessment Review Commissioner, whichever is applicable.

To receive the savings, qualifying property owners must submit a written request to their local assessor within 90 days of the Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act becoming law.

“Superstorm Sandy took a destructive toll on our families,” Thiele said. “Too many New Yorkers are reminded daily of the storm’s devastation as they struggle to rebuild their homes and businesses and restore some semblance of normalcy into their lives. The legislation would help New Yorkers get back on their feet, and I urge the Senate to pass this legislation immediately.”