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Homeowners affected by storms eligible for savings

A large tree has been resting on Tet

A large tree has been resting on Tet Razzano's Westbury house for five days. (Aug. 31, 2011) Credit: Ed Betz

Smithtown homeowners affected by tropical storms Irene and Lee can seek to have their property assessments reduced.

Under a state law passed last year, and adopted last month by the Town of Smithtown, residents who were “catastrophically impacted” by the storms may file an application seeking assessment relief from the town assessor’s office. The deadline is March 8.

Only properties that lost 50 percent or more of their values are eligible for reduced assessments.

Reductions would be in effect for the 2011-12 tax year.

The State Legislation effectively allows properties to be assessed based on their conditions after the storms struck last summer, rather than the way those parcels looked when they were assessed last spring.

Property owners must submit supporting documentation showing the degree of damage to their land. Town Assessor Peter Johnson will decide on reducing the valuation. His decision may be appealed to the town Board of Assessment Review.

Taxes will be reduced for property owners who have not yet paid taxes; refunds will be paid to owners who already paid taxes.

Applications are available on the Town of Smithtown website and from the assessor’s office, 40 Maple Ave., Smithtown. For information, call 631-360-7560.


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