Gov. Cuomo Signs Bill to Provide $4M Tax Relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims

By Nicholas Rizzi on May 29, 2014 1:18pm 

 Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill, proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, to provide an abatement to Hurricane Sandy victims who could face higher property taxes after they made repairs to their homes.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill, proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, to provide an abatement to Hurricane Sandy victims who could face higher property taxes after they made repairs to their homes.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

PORT RICHMOND — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday to provide nearly $4 million in tax relief for Hurricane Sandy victims who made repairs to their home.

The legislation, signed at during a ceremony at Heritage Park, will close a loophole in the law that had threatened to raise the tax level for homeowners who made repairs or renovations after the storm.

"To tax people on the changes to their home, that they were forced to make because of a storm that was out of their control, would literally add insult to injury," Cuomo said, saying that the law will push tax rates back to pre-storm levels and not charge people for increased square footage from repairs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio added that the signing of the new law — which will be reflected in July's bills and will remain in effect through 2015 — shows a new direction for the city and state over storm recovery aid.

"It will start to help people right now," de Blasio said. "I want this to be an example to people of the direction we're now going with. Everybody in government is on the same page that we have to do things differently."

Cuomo signed the bill at Heritage Park, the first post-Sandy park built to help prevent future flooding. He was flanked by de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Borough President James Oddo and Council members Vincent Ignizio, Debi Rose and Steven Matteo.

"The Sandy tax is no more today," Ignizio said at the ceremony.

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