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Lake Ontario and Connected Waterways Assessment Relief Act: quick facts

Applicability

In a municipality that has opted in, the act applies to all improved properties; it is not limited to residential property.

Special districts

With a town-administered special district, if the town opts into the relief act, the special district is included. There’s no authority for a town to opt one way for town purposes and another way for special district purposes.

Effect of repairs

Based on local option, the effect of repairs could be less than 50% damage.

The damage judgment should be based on the condition of the property in the immediate aftermath of the flooding. The fact that it was subsequently repaired is irrelevant to its eligibility. The owner bears the burden of establishing to the assessor’s satisfaction that the property has lost a certain percentage of its value as a result of the flooding.

Deadlines

The deadline for taxing jurisdictions to opt into the program is August 24, 2017 (45 calendar days after the governor signed the act).

The deadline for property owners to apply for assessment relief is November 7, 2017 (120 calendar days after the governor signed the act).

Determinations and Board of Assessment Review (BAR)

The law is silent as to timing of the steps after a request for assessment reduction has been filed. It would make sense for the BAR to hear all complaints at once and they certainly may but they don’t have to.

The complaint form for flood damage does not have a Part Six Stipulation. Ordinarily, the stipulation process exists because the assessor has no power to reduce an assessment once the tentative roll is filed. Since these reductions are not being placed on a tentative roll, there’s no similar barrier. An assessor could discuss the issue with a taxpayer after reviewing the application and evidence rather than having the issue move to the BAR.

For more information 

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