The state Dept. of Taxation and Finance is reviewing options to provide property tax breaks to homeowners whose houses were heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy, Geoff Gloak, an agency spokesman, told Tax Watch.
Gloak said the plans under review are similar to programs implemented last year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. In December, the state Legislature approved a law that allowed taxing jurisdictions to reassess homes that were “catastrophically damaged” by the storms last year, or those that lost 50 percent of their value. Damaged homes that lost less than 50 percent of their value were not eligible for breaks. The homes were assessed based on their post-storm condition.
In a story today, Tax Watch looks at the various tax impacts Sandy could have on homeowners.
Like last year, any such plan would require legislative approval, Gloak said. Also, the tax break would not be automatic. The program last year gave each taxing jurisdiction – counties, towns, villages, cities and school districts – the option of conducting the reassessments. Each entity, however, must adopt resolutions authorizing it. Homeowners last year in areas that authorized it could have had their property assessments reduced by 55 percent to 100 percent, depending on damage.
According to data on the tax department’s website, as of February the only local communities participating in the Irene relief program are Rockland County, Ramapo, Haverstraw and Rye. The department’s notice said the list was compiled from news reports and information reported to the state, so it may not be a comprehensive list.
Read a summary of the Irene/Lee relief program here.
Photo: A large hemlock crashed down, clipping a home in Mahopac. (David McKay Wilson / The Journal News)