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Dec 5, 2013 2:37 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Quogue Board Passes Sandy Relief Act

Dec 9, 2013 9:27 AM

UPDATE: Friday, 4:45 p.m.

The Quogue Board of Trustees passed its version of the Superstorm Sandy Assessment Relief Act on Friday afternoon.

During the special meeting held in Quogue Village Hall the board, minus absent Trustee Randy Cardo, voted unanimously to enact the law, although only for homes that lost at least half their assessed value during the October 2012 storm.

The state act, which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in October, allows villages and towns the option of reimbursing taxes to homeowners that lost as little as 10 percent of their home's assessed value in the storm.

"Sandy was an extraordinary event so people that were damaged in an extraordinary way get relief, not just minor damage," Quogue Mayor Peter Sarotius said during the public meeting, which clocked in at five minutes long.

Mr. Sartorius said only two houses in the village will qualify for the relief.

Residents must apply to the village to receive a refund on their tax bill.

UPDATE: Friday, 9:45 a.m.

In a speedy meeting, the Westhampton Beach Board of Trustees enacted a law that will allow village residents whose homes sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy to recoup a portion of their tax bills Friday morning.

With Village Trustee Charles Palmer absent, the board passed the law by a vote of 4-0, locally enacting the state’s Superstorm Sand Assessment Relief Act, which was signed into law in October.

Deputy Mayor Ralph Urban said the law is designed to assist homeowners whose properties lost assessed value because of the storm. The idea, he said after the meeting, being that property owners shouldn’t have been required to pay taxes at their home’s full assessed rate, especially when many homes were uninhabitable after the storm.

The law was designed to assist homes elsewhere on Long Island and in New York City that were more severely damaged, Mr. Urban said, but homeowners in Westhampton Beach still qualify for some relief.

“Most homes that were damaged here suffered broken electrical boxes and air conditioners,” he said. “I think we only had about three houses that were heavily damaged.”

ORIGINAL STORY

The Quogue and Westhampton Beach boards of trustees will hold separate public meetings on Friday to discuss and decide if each village should enact laws that would provide financial relief to residents whose homes sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy last fall.

The Westhampton Beach meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at Village Hall off Mill Road, and the Quogue meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at Village Hall on Jessup Avenue.

If the boards enact the laws pursuant to the Superstorm Sandy Assessment Relief Act, which was signed into law in October by state lawmakers, property owners in the villages would be able to recoup tax dollars if their buildings were damaged during the storm.

This Friday, December 6, is the deadline for the governing boards to enact the law—if they choose to do so.

Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius said the law would be similar to the one passed by Southampton Town last week that allows homeowners to recoup up to 90 percent of their tax bills if their properties were appraised before the storm and suffered a subsequent drop in value. Homes had to lose at least 10 percent of their value to qualify.

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Why did you have to pass a law if it affected only three houses?
Couldn't have simply handled it on a case by case basis?
A broken electrical box or ruined AC unit shouldn't materially affect the value of a home.
By Hambone (514), New York on Dec 6, 13 1:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your first photo is the WHB Board not Quogue.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Dec 7, 13 9:25 PM
I had a few trees that came down in the storm. One landed on my garden hose reel and crushed it scraping the paint on the house shingles.and another fell in my lawn creating a big crater. The other trees fell and just made a mess of the yard with broken branches everywhere! The damage devalued my property...can I get tax relief?
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Dec 8, 13 1:32 AM
Waterfront properties in Quogue and WHB fetch millions. Do these people really need a tax break for minor damage? There are thousands of people in Suffolk County with homes worth one fifth of these Oceanfront properties. They are still suffering. Are the oceanfront owners in Quogue and WHB suffering? They still have homes to live in and the means to fix air conditioners and electrical boxes.
By G (342), Southampton on Dec 8, 13 11:02 AM
1 member liked this comment