Deadline for new assessment reductions Jan. 24

County Legislator Dave Denenberg explains assessment reduction form to an attendee

Those whose homes were uninhabitable for a period of time after Superstorm Sandy hit on October 29, 2012, still have time to apply for reductions to their assessments, Legislator Dave Denenberg told those gathered at the Merrick Library on December 23.

“More houses were damaged in this one event in Nassau County than any other event that has ever occurred in the county,” the legislator said of the damage to homes and businesses in Bellmore and Merrick south of Merrick Road.

He said that state Governor Andrew Cuomo “heard all the complaints of the damages to our homes and gave the state more money to give to residents” that didn’t get reductions if their homes were damaged. The money is available through the New York State Superstorm Sandy Assessment Relief Program, which reimburses the county for the cost of homeowners reducing their assessments because of damage their houses.

There were 5200 applications made to the county to get reductions in property assessments last year he told those gathered, and they got their assessments reduced. He said the deadline has been extended to Tuesday, January 21, for residents to apply to get reductions in their property assessments.

He said the reductions would be good for the years 2012-13, and 2013-14. “These are not to be confused with grieving your assessments, which has a March 1 deadline and is for tax rolls for the 2015-16 calendar year, he said.

The simple two-page form, which reduces the market value of a home over the last two years, is available at the Nassau County Department of Assessment at 240 Old Country Road in Mineola, or online at www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/assessor/index.html. The form asks questions about the property and about the documents available to prove that the property was indeed damaged by the storm.

Types of documentation

That the form requests photographs or other documentation as proof there was damage led one attendee to point out that proof of damage using photos and other documentation had already been required by and submitted to FEMA, insurance companies, NY Rising and other agencies, and that there was no more documentation to give.

“You mean you never kept copies of the documentation you gave to them?” asked another surprised attendee.

Denenberg explained that types of documentation that were admissible included canceled checks of work that had been completed on the property, letters from FEMA, NY Rising and insurance companies explaining the amounts that would be paid, and from estimates from contractors.

Richard Ross, whose house was flooded for the first time since he moved in 21 years ago – living north of Merrick Road along the Meadowbrook Parkway, where the tides came up – asked if the reductions were also for contents to the homes, such as carpets, TVs, cabinets and tables, for example.

“No,” Denenberg replied. “It is only for the structure of the house itself.” A loss of contents does not affect property assessment in any way, he continued.

He noted it may be important to visit www.nassaucountyny.gov/mynassauproperty to determine the value of the house rather than the value of the land, and how much you may be entitled to get back as a refund.

“For a $470,000 house, $200,000 of that will be for the land, and $270,000 will be for the structure on the land, or the ‘improvement’ to the land,” Denenberg explained.   

Denenberg told those who filled the form out to make sure to record their most current assessment available on their tax bills.

He added that the reductions will come in the form of physical payments, rather than credits applied to future tax bills.

For information or for help to fill out the form, call Denenberg’s office at 571-6219.

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