Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

April 06, 2007

Flood-Damaged Property Owners to Receive Tax Relief

Flood Assessment Relief Act Signed Into Law

Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced he has signed into law legislation that will provide tax relief to property owners who sustained significant damage from last summer’s floods.

In June and July of 2006, severe flooding hit many areas of upstate New York, including Central New York, the Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley. A federal disaster was declared for 20 counties. The State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) estimated that, in the hardest-hit counties – Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster – more than 8,600 homes were destroyed or received significant damage.

The Flood Assessment Relief Act of 2007 will provide the 20 counties hardest hit with the option of allowing property owners in flood-impacted municipalities to seek reductions in their assessed property value.

"This act, together with a $5 million appropriation included in the 2007-2008 State Budget, will provided much needed relief for property owners and the municipalities hardest hit by the devastating floods of last summer," Governor Spitzer said. "I commend Senator Libous and Assemblywoman Lupardo for their steadfast efforts to secure this relief for residents of the flood-damaged communities."

Senator Thomas Libous said: "It doesn’t make sense that a victim whose home was wiped out in the flood would have to pay taxes on property that might not even exist anymore. This bill gives cities and towns another tool to use against the many ongoing challenges from last year’s floods. And to make sure that other taxpayers in these municipalities didn’t see their taxes skyrocket, I worked with Governor Spitzer to put $5 million in this year’s Budget to help offset these losses to the tax base."

Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo: "I want to thank Governor Spitzer for signing the Flood Assessment Relief Act. Coupled with the $5 million included in this year’s State Budget, this new law will help provide much needed tax relief to homeowners who suffered significant damage as a result of the flooding last June. I look forward to working with the governor and his new administration in order to take additional steps to help reduce future flooding and minimize the impact it has on our families and local governments."

In the taxing jurisdictions that choose to participate, those taxpayers whose property was "catastrophically impacted" by the flooding – those who lost at least 50 percent of the value – would be entitled to seek adjustment of the assessed value of such property either by seeking review by the Board of Assessment Review or by seeking administrative correction of the tax roll.

In this way, taxpayers could recoup some of the taxes they were forced to pay for property assessed prior to the floods that did not retain its value due to significant damage.

2007 Press Releases