On Monday, December 10, 2012, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced legislation to the New York State Assembly that would provide property tax relief to New York City home owners and businesses that sustained damage to their property as a result of Hurricane Sandy. This piece of legislation, which is entitled “The New York City Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act,” only applies to residents of New York City.
If the legislation is adopted, property owners that lost at least 50 % in assessed value of their home/residence as a result of Hurricane Sandy would be provided an assessment reduction based upon the sliding scale set forth below:
- 50 but less than 60 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 55 percent;
- 60 but less than 70 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 65 percent;
- 70 but less than 80 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 75 percent;
- 80 but less than 90 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 85 percent;
- 90 but less than 100 percent loss in value, taxable assessed value would be reduced by 95 percent; and
- 100 percent loss, taxable assessed value would be reduced to zero.
If the legislation is adopted, to receive the aforementioned assessment relief, a property owner/tax payer must submit a written request for consideration to the New York City Department of Finance, at which time a determination would be made as to the percentage of lost value.
This bill, which would amend the New York State Real Property Tax Law, is specific to New York City residents, not to all New Yorkers. However, it is likely that similar legislation will be introduced in the near future that would seek similar property tax relief for property that was damaged or destroyed in other areas of New York declared a disaster area due to Hurricane Sandy. For example, on the same day that The New York City Hurricane Sandy Assessment Relief Act was introduced, the Staten Island City Council agreed to postpone the payment of property tax bills for owners of red-tagged homes until April 2013.
Though this is just a small step for the residents of Staten Island, in addition to such relief, state legislators from Staten Island plan to introduce legislation in the Senate and Assembly which would provide property tax rebates for people whose homes were damaged. If such legislation is introduced, and ultimately passed, homeowners with red-tagged homes would be entitled to get money back on the tax bills sent out this month and due in April.