County backs bill to help flood victims

FONDA – The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution supporting proposed state legislation that would provide tax-assessment relief to flood victims.

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk visited the board meeting Tuesday to discuss the proposed legislation, which she sponsored.

In preparation for Tkaczyk’s visit, the board prepared the resolution in support of the bill and advocated the proposal be passed by the state Legislature.

The full board unanimously approved the resolution. Charleston Supervisor Robert Sullivan was absent from the meeting.

Severe flooding of the Mohawk River and other bodies of water between June 20 and July 7 caused significant damage in Montgomery County, documents from the meeting said.

In most upstate counties, a homeowner’s property taxes are based on a March 1 assessment of property.

The flood assessment relief act of 2013, Bill S.5915, would provide tax-assessment relief to certain properties in Montgomery County, the documents said. The legislation would allow taxpayers whose property was significantly damaged to grieve their assessment to their local Board of Assessment Review. The board will then revalue the property based on the value of the home after the flood, the documents said.

Local assessors also would be authorized to request that assessments of seriously damaged homes be based on the after-flood value, the documents said.

In 2005 and 2007, similar bills were signed into law.

Tkaczyk told the board she intends to write a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to “get the point across” that Montgomery County needs this assistance.

Minden Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush showed his appreciation to Tkaczyk at the meeting by publicly thanking her.

“Within a week [of the flooding] you started [working] on this bill,” he said. “I just want to say thank you. We really do appreciate it.”

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