Homeowners who decide to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy may find that they are paying for the privilege.
State property tax law treats repairs to a home in the same way it does improvements, like a deck or an addition. Which means New Yorkers looking to restore their home to the same state it was in before the storm, could see a spike in their property tax bill.
"Many of these people, their position is, 'Even if I do build, my taxes are going to go up. I can't afford it. I'm being taxed out. I'm being taxed out,'" said Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia. "And that's what we in government have to stop."
The issue was raised at a City Council hearing Thursday.
On the heels of that hearing, Council Speaker Christine Quinn came out in favor of changing the law, which would require approval from Albany. She said it is the fair thing to do to distinguish between the different kinds of construction work.
"Clearly, one person is improving their property at their discretion, and the other is trying [to] restore their life and home after a devastating event outside of their control," Quinn said in a statement.