Lawmakers were in Fort Plain Monday to talk about a bill that will help flood victims pay their taxes. The Mohawk Valley and Niagara County assessment act calls on local municipalities to reassess the value of damaged properties. And even though residents say the bill would be a huge help, YNN's Maria Valvanis explains they aren't sure the help will come soon enough.
FORT PLAIN, N.Y. -- More than 200 properties were damaged by June's flood and current law requires owners to pay taxes based on their properties pre-flood value.
"It's simply not fair given the condition of their property currently," said Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk.
That's why elected officials are urging the state to pass a new bill that would allow for properties to be reassessed before the next tax roll.
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, "The last thing these families need is to pay a full tax assessment on damaged or destroyed property that has lost a significant amount of value."
"Every dollar counts, every dollar," said Angela Fredrick.
Angela Fredrick says the issue is near and dear to her heart, her restaurant was closed for more than a month after the flood and her sister's home was destroyed.
"The water just literally shot up through the registers. My kids were just laying in their beds their beds were floating. I'll never know what that did to them," said Jolene Lambert.
For Jolene Lambert, it's actually help with two tax bills. They still own their Route 80 home, but it's been condemned, meaning they had to buy another one.
"So now we have two bills to pay and how are we going to do it," said Lambert.
Lambert says she's hopeful the act will be passed, but doesn't see it happening soon enough.
Besides property taxes, the village's school tax is due at the end of the month, something residents are hoping the Superintendent and school board will consider granting an extension on.
Fredrick said, "A 90 day (extension) would be significant to all of us so we could re-budget ourselves and figure out, okay how are we going to pay it."
"The Governor does not have to call a special session for this to happen, our leaders can just call us back to Albany and get it done," said Senator Tkaczyk.
The Senator is hopeful leaders will make that call immediately, so that by the next tax bill victims will already see a reduction.