When homes and communities are devastated by a storm, the effect the damage is going to have on property taxes isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Although, on Long Island, it might be second or third. Post-Sandy, federal, state and local forces have come together to ensure that neither Sandy victims nor their neighbors will face a property-tax penalty from the storm this year. It's a not-so-sexy form of relief that is much needed and appreciated.
It was already clear that damaged homes, less valuable than before they got hit, would pay less this year. The fear, though, was that undamaged neighbors would have to pick up the slack. Instead, as much as $300 million in federal funds will be used to make up the shortfall. Hopefully, next year, the vast bulk of the homes will be fixed and the taxes can return to . . . gulp . . . normal.