AP News

NYC to give tax extension for superstorm-hit homes

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 3,000 homeowners with badly storm-damaged houses will get some extra time to pay city property taxes, and some could get rebates if state lawmakers agree, city officials said Thursday.

Payments due Jan. 1 would be postponed to April 1, interest free, for residential properties that need extensive repairs to be habitable or are damaged beyond repair because of Superstorm Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. They said they also want to give partial rebates to reflect the homes' lost value, but that idea needs the state Legislature's approval.

"I hope this action shows that the city is thinking creatively, is listening and is trying to do everything we can," Quinn said.

The extension, which the City Council is expected to approve Dec. 10, would apply to more than 3,000 households that owe an average of about $500 on their Jan. 1 quarterly or semiannual payments, officials said.

The potential refunds would apply to this year's taxes on more than 900 homes and average nearly $800. The idea hasn't been formally broached in Albany, but it's likely to get a friendly reception.

Meanwhile, officials also are working to reassess properties for next year's taxes.

While the city is grappling with a more than $2 billion deficit over the next 18 months, the extension and proposed rebates represents a small portion of the $19 billion a year that the city collects in residential and commercial property taxes.

"It is not going to require us to change any of our strategies," Bloomberg said.


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