New York City is suspending water bills for residents whose properties suffered the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy in an effort to ease the financial burden on victims.
Residential and commercial properties that the Department of Buildings has tagged red or yellow – those which have significant damage or are now uninhabitable – will not have to make a monthly water bill payment until June 1, 2013. No bills will be sent until May 1, 2013.
Standard fees for preoprties where water service has been disconnected from the city’s water supply because of damage will also be waived by the Department of Environmental Protection, and interest fees and collection actions on delinquent accounts have been suspended.
The city has also announced two property tax relief measures for homeowners that suffered storm damages to their properties, including an interest-free extension of the next property tax bill from January 1, 2013, to April 1, 2013.
More than 3,000 properties are eligible for the extension, and the average property tax bill is $506. The City has also proposed to reimburse homeowners for a portion of the taxes paid this fiscal year. The measure requires State approval and if enacted, more than 900 properties would be eligible, with an average rebate of $794. The Finance Department is also working to ensure that the property tax assessments for FY 2014 reflect the post-hurricane conditions.
“For those faced with the hard work of rebuilding after the storm, we are doing all that we can to provide assistance and relief,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement announcing the changes. “By deferring water bill payments and other charges, New Yorkers can focus their attention and money on more immediate and pressing needs.”