Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn:
“Hurricane Sandy caused unprecedented damage to many homes and properties along New York City’s coast line. It is therefore startling and troubling to hear recent reports that numerous homes received assessment notices from the Department of Finance that showed increases in their property values.
“It raises real doubts about whether DOF is doing enough to ensure fair and accurate assessments, and how it is communicating this with the public.
“The Council Committees on Finance and Community Development will hold a joint emergency oversight hearing on February 26th to address these concerns. As New Yorkers work to rebuild their homes and lives, we cannot allow them to be hit twice.”
Statement by Finance Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.:
“For property owners who were hit hard by Sandy and who have been working for months to get back on their feet this feels like a sucker punch. It’s unacceptable and, frankly, New Yorkers deserve better. The fact that these assessments increased in the face of such damage reveals deeper problems in our property tax system that need to be discussed and addressed.”
Statement by Community Development Chair Albert Vann:
“New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy have endured months of emotional stress and financial difficulties that most of us will never fully comprehend. It’s beyond disturbing to hear that the city has compounded this stress by sending out incomprehensible property tax assessment notices. Our role is to assist in this time of need and I’m eager to hold this hearing to get to the bottom of this problem.”
Statement by Minority Leader James S. Oddo:
“During the sunniest of days people don’t understand the convoluted property tax formula in New York City, but telling folks victimized by Sandy that their bills are going up is as destructive to their psyche and financial bottom line as the super storm was to their homes. We have to work together to do better than this.”