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Fair,64°
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Government
County: Federal funds will offset property taxes
By Brian Racow, bracow@liherald.com
Bill Kelly/Herald file photo
Hurricane Sandy destroyed a house in Baldwin Harbor. County Executive Edward Mangano has announced a “property-tax stabilization” plan that should reduce taxes on properties that Hurricane Sandy damaged and hold property taxes level for others.

Nassau County will use funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to help prevent a property-tax hike that a number of county residents would have faced because of Hurricane Sandy, according to New York state’s grant proposal and state and county spokespeople.

Nassau home and business owners whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Sandy will receive a tax “exemption” to reflect their property-value losses, and taxes will remain the same for property owners not affected by the storm, who would have had to pay a higher portion of their area’s property-tax levy if not for the influx of federal monies, according to Brian Nevin, spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano.

The U.S. Congress passed a package of about $60 billion in disaster-relief spending in January, of which $16 billion was allocated to HUD, according to Adam Glantz, HUD’s public affairs officer for New York and New Jersey. HUD announced on April 26 that it had approved $1.71 billion of this money for New York state in a Community Development Block Grant. The state’s “action plan” for the grant shows that the state anticipates “allocating up to $300 million” to county and local governments. Mangano said in a written statement that he had secured “property-tax stabilization funds” for Nassau through the state’s action plan.

“In order to address the unprecedented and widespread property damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and recognizing that families and businesses are struggling to recover,” Mangano stated in the release, “I created a plan which protects non-Sandy victims from a tax increase while making certain taxes are reduced for Sandy destroyed and damaged homes.”

Eunice Huang, a spokeswoman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said, “Governor Cuomo specifically prioritized protecting taxpayers in communities impacted by Sandy through securing federal funds that will offset lost property-tax revenues for county and local governments. Under the governor’s action plan, these localities will not have to cut critical services and residents will not be burdened by tax hikes.”

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