UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: To rebuild or not? Questions about post-Sandy property values cloud recovery

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To rebuild or not? Questions about post-Sandy property values cloud recovery

Don Ross' job just got harder, thanks to Superstorm Sandy.
Ross is Fairfield's assessor, and these days he's getting quite a few phone calls from property owners that leave him feeling frustrated -- residents forced from their damaged homes when Sandy came ashore nearly a month ago.
What they want to know, Ross said, is what can the town do to reflect their losses in their property assessments and tax bills. The answer? Not all that much, at least for now.
"This is uncharted territory," said Ross, shaking his head. "I've lived in this town my whole life; I've never seen anything like this."
At least five or six shoreline homes have been condemned or simply no longer exist in the storm's wake, while at least 30 others have been deemed unsafe for occupancy. It could be many months before they're inhabitable again.
There are some remedies available, Ross said, for owners of homes that have been totally destroyed by the storm and require total reconstruction. "It's a statue that allows for a pro-ration of the assessment of those structures," he said.
Right now, though, Ross said he hasn't had a chance to sit down with other town officials to determine exactly how that process will work. "How the process is going to work is a work in progress, is the best way I can put it to you," he said. READ MORE: http://www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com/news/article/To-rebuild-or-not-Questions-about-post-Sandy-4056706.php

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