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Ortt, Senate pass bill creating an infrastructure tax credit for flood victims along Lake Ontario, other lakeshore communities


Thu, Jun 22nd 2017 09:40 am
Measure would help offset costs for shoreline stabilization projects for homes, businesses, farms and not-for-profits
Earlier this week, Republican New York State Sen. Rob Ortt announced the New York State Senate passed legislation that would make an infrastructure tax credit available to those affected by flooding along Lake Ontario and other coastal communities across the state.
The bill now heads to the Assembly.
Ortt sponsored the measure (S6535), which would create a 25 percent tax credit, up to $10,000, for the construction of protective structures, or shoreline stabilization projects that would protect homes, businesses and infrastructure from flooding and erosion. The tax credit would apply to property owners, businesses, farms and not-for-profits.
Ortt said, "Flooding due to the disastrous Plan 2014 has created an unnecessary financial burden for families and business owners living along the coast. Unfortunately, the devastation these communities have experienced, and for many, continue to experience, could be the new normal. Protective structures could mitigate further flooding, but are costly. This tax credit eases the burden for those planning to rebuild and reinforce their properties."
The DEC would determine what would qualify as a shoreline stabilization project. Protective structures may include barrier walls.
Since spring, serious flooding along Lake Ontario has caused properties to erode, significant damage to houses and infrastructure, and has forced many businesses to close. Niagara County Legislator John Syracuse said the high lake levels have caused an estimated $7.48 million in private damages.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill introduced by Senate Republicans to speed up the availability of emergency infrastructure funding for recent flood damage. The funding was approved as part of the 2017-18 state budget, however, it would not have been available until Aug. 18 - 120 days after the budget's passage. This new law addresses the urgent need by removing the 120-day waiting period to provide an option for municipalities to seek immediate financial relief from the state.

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