The city will extend property tax deadlines interest free — and may even provide a refund on property taxes already assessed — for structures badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, a statement today from the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. The measures require further approval from the City Council and New York State Legislature, however.
The city’s Department of Finance issued an interest-free extension on the next property tax bill for “residential properties damaged beyond repair or in need of extensive structural repairs before they can be re-inhabited.” The Department of Finance’s move will still need to be formally authorized by the City Council, the statement said.
The city has also proposed a reimbursement measure that would lessen tax bills for this fiscal year, so that taxes more accurately reflect homes’ post-Sandy value, but that measure will require approval from the state legislature. If enacted, taxpayers for more than 900 properties would be issued a reimbursement of about $800, according to the statement.
“We are working to help the thousands of New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Bloomberg in the statement. “We want to do all that we can to ease their heavy burdens, and working with the Speaker, City Council and State Legislature, we will secure two property tax measures that provide a small measure of relief to those who need it most.”
The extension will apply red-tagged residential properties, meaning those that require structural repairs before they can be inhabited, or must be demolished. Taxes that would be due January 1, 2013, will be delayed to April 1, 2013. The city anticipates at least 3,000 properties will be eligible.
“Helping property owners whose homes were destroyed by Sandy is a no-brainer,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the statement. “The Council will approve the grace period at our next stated meeting and this rebate will be the quickest and easiest way to get cash directly into the hands of these homeowners – one of the most important things we can do right now in this long road to recovery.” –Guelda Voien