By Matthew Taub
Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn Brief
Appearing at a newly reopened three acre waterfront park located along the Kill Van Kull on the North Shore of Staten Island Staten Island, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation today that will provide relief to New York City residents subject to higher property taxes as a result of repairs to homes severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The legislation was unveiled and championed by both the Governor and Mayor de Blasio, who also appeared at the signing.
“In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, homeowners across the downstate region were forced to invest in significant repairs to make their homes more resilient – investments that would increase their taxes under normal circumstances,” the Governor said. “Sandy was not a normal circumstance, however, and I will not allow taxes to be raised on property owners simply because they are repairing the damage that was done and planning wisely for the future.”
As the assessed value of a property may have increased after repairs or reconstruction undertaken in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, some homeowners whose homes were damaged during the storm are now subject to higher property tax bills — even if the homeowner only restored the building to its condition prior to the storm.
“Property owners recovering from Sandy shouldn’t be forced to pay higher taxes simply because they rebuilt — and now they won’t,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We proposed this legislation because New Yorkers who have already been through so much deserve this basic relief.”
The new law (A.9578-A / S.7257-A) signed today by Governor Cuomo allows for a partial abatement of property taxes for certain properties that were damaged by Sandy and that have since been repaired. The law will provide relief to New York City residents affected by the storm whose property tax bill in City Fiscal Year 2015 is greater than the corresponding tax liability from CFY2013.
To qualify for the tax relief, the property must meet the following criteria:
- The Department of Finance reduced the assessed valuation of the building on the property for fiscal year 2014 from the assessed valuation for fiscal year 2013 as a result of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
- The Department of Finance increased the assessed valuation of the building for fiscal year 2015 from its assessed valuation for fiscal year 2014; and
- The assessed valuation of the building for fiscal year 2015 exceeds that for fiscal year 2013.
The abatement will appear on impacted homeowners’ July property tax bills. Homeowners with questions can call 311 or visit the NYC Department of Finance website at NYC.gov/finance.
In the event that the repair or rebuilding resulted in an increase in the square footage of the affected building, the bill provides for a proportional decrease in the amount of the abatement to reflect the increase in the square footage of the building.
The waterfront park on the Kill Van Kull on Staten Island is recognized by the Trust for Public Land as the first post-Hurricane Sandy resilient waterfront park and was designed to ensure minimal flooding in the event of future storms. Resiliency measures taken include designing the Park with 2-3 feet of additional soil composition to absorb excess rain water and see level. The permeable soil will absorb significant amounts of water without the need for drains and acts as a buffer that protects the inland businesses and homes on the north shore of Staten Island in the event of a significant coastal storm.