Administrative History

Chapter 39 of the Laws of 1973 provided for tax abatement to the extent of the damage on properties damaged as a result of Hurricane Agnes; it also provided for state assistance to local governments and school districts to compensate for revenue loss because of such tax abatements.

The abatements were granted for the latest local fiscal year for which taxes were levied on an assessment roll having a taxable status prior to the disaster. In most localities the abated bill was calculated on assessment rolls completed in 1972. Tax abatement was for one year (subsequent years would reflect property conditions after the disaster). State aid was provided for two additional years.

Tax abatements were granted on the basis of applications by property owners and the percentage loss of each damaged parcel. The statute applied to damaged properties in the designated disaster area. The state board determined the percentage loss, subject to modification by local boards of assessment review. Local boards were required to meet and hear requests by taxpayers for modification of the percentage loss determined by the board. The law also gave specific duties to local officials on calculating the amount of tax abatements, notifying property owners on amounts due, making refunds, and applying for state and federal aid. Once the state board had delivered to the local assessor a list of all parcels for which applications had been received, the local assessor would complete the abatement list, publish notice of its completion for public scrutiny, and establish the time and place of meetings of the local board of assessment review to determine modifications. After this process the board of assessment review delivered a certified statement to the assessors verifying changes in the percentage loss, and the assessors made the changes to the tax bills.