Tkaczyk and Santabarbara Introduce Legislation to Help Flood Victims

Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk (D-Duanesburg) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) held a press conference in Fort Plain today to announce legislation they have introduced, entitled the Mohawk Valley and Niagara County Assessment Relief Act, aimed at helping property owners who were affected by flooding earlier this year (A.8124/S.5915).

“Under the current law, property owners have to pay taxes based on the pre-flood condition and value of their property, which is simply not fair,” said Senator Tkaczyk. “Our legislation would lower their tax bill to compensate for the decreased value of their flood-damaged property. This will allow them to put more of their resources into rebuilding their homes and our communities.”

Under the Assessment Relief Act, local municipalities in Montgomery, Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Niagara counties have the option to revise property tax values based on the percentage of property value lost due to flood damage. Property owners would then be able to seek a reassessment, and assessors would be authorized to request assessments of seriously damaged homes be based on the property’s after-flood value. The assessments would be subject to review by the local Board of Assessment Review.

“We need to do all we can to make sure the families affected by the recent flooding can move forward,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “The last thing they need is to pay a full tax assessment on damaged or destroyed properties. Giving municipalities the option to revise property tax values can give these families some relief while they rebuild.”

“One of the main things we’re worried about now is losing families and businesses who decide they can’t afford to repair or rebuild, so every bit of relief we can give them will help,” said Fort Plain Mayor, Guy Barton. “We’ve always stuck together during times of crisis and this is no different. I want to thank both Senator Tkaczyk and Assemblyman Santabarbara for being here for us from the beginning.”