Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Joseph Morelle today announced the passage of legislation creating a new flood recovery grant program and a series of relief efforts in response to the historic flooding affecting communities across New York's Lake Ontario coastline (A.8013-A, Morelle)
"As rising water levels continue to threaten the safety and livelihoods of thousands of New Yorkers, we must intervene and provide resources to support these communities," said Speaker Heastie. "This support package will help homeowners and businesses affected by this crisis to recover from the damages and protect their financial well-being."
"It is critically important that we ensure our neighbors along the waterfront receive the support and resources they need to recover and get their lives back on track," said Morelle. "In addition, we must work to put the necessary infrastructure in place to prevent future devastation brought on by natural disasters. As someone who lives in one of the many communities hard-hit by the flood waters, I can speak first hand to the importance of this bill. I am truly grateful to the Speaker and all of my colleagues in the Assembly for their support and swift passage of this legislation."
This bill would establish a $90 million flood recovery grant program to assist small businesses, farms, property owners and municipalities with storm-related repairs and restoration. Grants will include up to $15 million for homeowners, $25 million for businesses, farms and non-profits, $25 million for local municipalities, $15 million for flood mitigation activities to prevent future flooding and $10 million in additional disaster relief for municipalities still recovering from the impact of previous natural disasters. Additionally, the bill would create an interagency response team to assist in the allocation and distribution of state and federal resources and develop a comprehensive multi-agency flood response plan to respond to future water level increases that may occur.
To support homeowners who face costly and substantial repairs to their properties after flooding, the bill authorizes a reduced property tax assessment as well as a state deduction in income tax for those who use a distribution from an eligible retirement plan to aid in restoration efforts.