Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref–Pulaski) and Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C–Macedon) announced today that they have introduced legislation that if enacted, would provide tax relief for property owners along the Lake Ontario shoreline and tributaries who are dealing with record-high flooding.
The Lake Ontario and Connected Waterways Assessment Relief Act would enable municipalities to reduce assessments for property and business owners who have lost land or property due to erosion and flooding.
“Property owners and businesses are devastated by these floods. This disaster has caused severe losses for thousands of homes, businesses and municipalities in the six-county region. My office receives many calls a day from people who are struggling and pleading for help. The amount of damage is widespread and, as with previous natural disasters, merits state action. This bill would at least provide tax relief so property owners are not paying taxes on land or property that was lost due to the flooding,” said Barclay.
“We have property owners who have sustained catastrophic damage to their homes and seen their land washed away by these record high floodwaters. I have been up to Pultneyville, Sodus Point, and Fair Haven many times during the past few weeks and the situation just seems to get worse. This bill would offer owners of homes and businesses who are affected by the flooding and erosion the opportunity for temporarily lowered assessments so their tax bills will better reflect the reality of their property value at the moment,” said Oaks.
With this measure, property owners who sustained substantial damage could have their property reassessed.
If the assessment is lowered, so would the corresponding property tax bill.
Municipalities would be eligible to be reimbursed for the lost tax revenue through a state fund paid for with settlement monies. If enacted, localities would have the option to provide this tax relief to homeowners.
This bill is modeled after other assessment relief measures that passed following Super Storm Sandy when property owners faced billions of dollars’ worth of damages.