(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Marlene Caride, Tim Eustace, and Joseph Lagana have introduced legislation to protect homeowners against increases in property taxes as a result of recent changes in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) changes to the federal flood maps.
“The recent update of the FEMA flood maps may have an impact on the costs of flood insurance in newly designated areas,” said Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Where many homeowners and municipalities may see relief, most may be subject to exorbitant increases due to the new guidelines. What we do not want is for the increases on municipal rates to be translated into higher property taxes for homeowners.”
The bill (A-3380) would add to the current list of exclusions from the calculation of a local unit of government’s property tax levy cap, increases in flood insurance premiums in excess of 2.0% from year to year. In the case of a first-year flood insurance resulting from changes to federal flood insurance rate maps, entire cost would be an exclusion from the property tax levy cap.
“In the areas that may experience a significant increase, many homeowners are still rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy,” said Caride (D-Bergen, Passaic). “The very last thing residents’ deserve is a larger tax bill.”
“With the third highest property taxes in the country, we want to prevent adding to a homeowner’s property tax burden,” said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Reinforcing this tax levy cap protects homeowners from any further increases that may arise from the FEMA flood map changes.”
“There were many major changes made to the federal flood maps in order to bring them up-to-date,” said Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic). “Unfortunately, the changes may have consequences for residents living in the newly designated flood areas. Adding flood insurance premiums to the tax levy cap can help alleviate the potential burden of higher property taxes on homeowners.”
It is anticipated that given the recent FEMA revisions to flood maps, certain municipalities, counties and other units of local government will face significant increases in the cost for flood insurance coverage.