Lawmakers: Adjust tax bills for parcels Sandy wrecked

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Two Long Island state legislators said Monday they will introduce a proposal that could lower property-tax assessments on parcels and homes damaged by superstorm Sandy.

  Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) and Sen.-elect Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) said the measure would allow municipalities and school districts to lower valuations for properties hit hard by the storm. Participation by municipalities wouldn’t be mandatory.  Sweeney and Boyle contended it would be unfair for property owners in such circumstances to have to pay based on pre-storm value.

   “This is an impending financial disaster for property owners who have struggled with huge Sandy-related expenses, and would be faced with paying full taxes on homes that are no longer there or no longer habitable,” Sweeney said in a statement.

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   Only properties that suffered a 50 percent or more loss in value could qualify, under the proposal. Local assessors would determine the percentage in value reduction.

   The state passed a similar law last year for property owners whose parcels were wrecked by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

   The proposal covers counties outside of New York City – but officials expect city-based lawmakers to introduce a similar proposal soon.

   Meanwhile, state Senate leaders announced a new task force that will hold hearings in the impacted areas to help determine where and how to channel disaster-relief aid and to improve storm preparedness. A hearing schedule hasn’t been determined.

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