Sandy victims given property tax extension

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As communities around the borough continue to pick up the pieces after Sandy, residents in the affected areas have been granted an extended deadline for property tax filings.

“The extension giving victims the opportunity to have their properties reassessed lifts a major burden off the families that were greatly impacted by this tragedy,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie, who, along with colleagues in the legislature, made the extension request to the city Tax Commission and the Department of Finance.

After many people received their Notice of Property Valuation of property tax assessments, in some cases, they were three times the amount of their property’s actual worth, according to Comrie’s office, due to storm damages.

Additionally, the original deadline of March 15 did not give property owners enough time to file revaluation applications, Comrie said.

“It’s hard enough for the city to get a grasp on what happened to the properties, especially with the complications [following Sandy],” said Glenn Newman, president of the Tax Commission.

Newman said the Department of Finance told the commission that they were giving the affected properties a second look as to what their values would be, and after the city council asked them to reopen the timetable for filing, the obliged due to “justice, fairness and an opportunity for the people.”

Newman hopes this will give the taxpayers opportunity to bring in additional information on their properties and clarify any issues.

“Anyone who visited or saw news clips after the storm understands why this extension is necessary. It was impossible to adequately assess these areas,” Comrie said. “Sandy was one of the biggest and most expensive natural disasters this city and region has ever had to face. Giving residents the time they need to get their lives back together is the least we can do.”

Newman then wrote to Comrie and said that the storm-affected properties were to be mailed a revised notice of valuation, and will have 20 days from when the letter is received to file.

“This extension not only gives families that are still coping with Sandy’s after effects an opportunity to receive a fair property assessment,” Comrie said, “but it will also give the city a more accurate account of the property taxes they can expect for the next fiscal year.”

 

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