Sandy Assessment Relief Act

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance has issued a property tax document that summarizes the Superstorm Sandy assessment relief legislation. Enactment of the legislation was reported previously. (TAXDAY, 2013/10/28, S.11)

The legislation allows taxing jurisdictions to provide relief to property owners for damage to the improvements on property caused by Superstorm Sandy (i.e., the storms, rains, winds, or floods during the period beginning October 29, 2012, and ending November 3, 2012). The legislation applies to all improved properties; it is not limited to residential property. The legislation effectively provides relief if an assessment roll has a taxable status date prior to October 28, 2012, for taxes levied on that roll that are payable without interest on or after October 28, 2012.

Under the legislation, the relief program can be adopted by an eligible county and any city, town, village, school district, or special district that is wholly or partly contained within an eligible county. The provisions of the legislation are available only to taxpayers in eligible municipalities that have opted to offer the relief. “Eligible county” means a county, other than a county wholly contained within a city, included in FEMA-4085-DR, the notice of the presidential declaration of a major disaster for the state of New York. Specifically, the eligible counties are Greene, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester.

An eligible municipality that opts in has the further option of offering relief to those whose buildings and other property improvements lost less than 50% of their value. If the municipality opts into the legislation without opting to offer relief at levels below 50%, the relief will be available only to those whose buildings and other property improvements lost 50% or more of their value.

Adoption of the program by a county does not apply to other local governments within the county; each municipality, school district, or special district that wishes to offer the option to its property owners must separately adopt a resolution. The deadline for taxing jurisdictions to opt into the program is December 6, 2013.

To receive relief, the property owner in a participating municipality must submit a written request to the assessor (using Form RP-5849-APP), along with supporting documentation. The deadline for a property owner to apply for assessment relief is January 21, 2014.

The summary provides additional details regarding the application process, assessment reductions, relevant forms, determinations, and board of assessment review.

By CCH News

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