MANHATTAN BEACH COMMUNITY GROUP
73 years of service to the Community
June 27, 2014
Message from the President:
For the record, since January or February, we had been trying to get speakers from the NYC Department of Finance to attend and speak at one of our monthly meetings. Due to their full schedule, they were unable to attend any of our meetings until Wednesday, June 25th.
In May Governor Cuomo signed legislation to allow partial abatement of property taxes for certain properties that were damaged by Sandy and that have since been repaired.
The law states: To qualify for the tax relief, the property must meet the following criteria:
* The assessed value of the property for fiscal year 2014 must have been reduced from the assessed value for fiscal year 2013 as a result of physical damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
* The assessed value of the property must have increased for fiscal year 2015 from its assessed value for fiscal year 2014 as a result of rebuilding or improvements.
* The assessed value of the property for fiscal year 2015 must be greater than the assessed value for fiscal year 2013 before the storm.
There is no application for this abatement. The abatement will be given automatically to properties that qualify based on your previous and current assessments. Please note that there is no appeal process.
To say that the above noted information is confusing, is an understatement. There were 97 Manhattan Beach homeowners in attendance at our meeting and with the exception of two residents NO ONE received an abatement! Further, the representatives from the Department of Finance were asked to explain the fact that since Sandy our property values decreased, yet our taxes increased!! How and where does the “abatement” enter this situation? Why did the overwhelming number of homeowners in Manhattan Beach not receive an abatement? The representatives from the Department of Finance were unable to present an explanation that was understandable!
We were told that in order to receive the abatement, we had to file an application. What application? Finance did not have a response. No one in the audience received an application, no one knew where this so-called application was–or who created it—or if it existed. Further, we do not know how this application fits into the statement on the Finance Dept website that states as above: “There is no application for this abatement. The abatement will be given automatically to properties that qualify based on your previous and current assessments. Please note that there is no appeals process.”
How wonderful!!! The Governor signs legislation providing relief for Sandy victims, makes grand gestures to those who have been and are still trying to recover from the disaster in their homes and communities – and the legislation seemingly does not apply to the vast majority of residents of Manhattan Beach!! Something is amiss!!!
What you can do: for those who attended the meeting and gave the Finance speakers telephone numbers and/or email addresses, please let us know what help you received and how long it took to receive that help—or if there was no response.
In the meanwhile, we will speak with our local elected representatives and continue to look into this matter. There appears to be an unfairness in play here. We intend to make every effort to get answers to the questions we all have, to the assertions made, and to the inconsistencies and ambiguities we heard last evening.