NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- New York residents in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy said their property values and taxes increased even though their houses were devastated by the storm.
Ira Zalcman, president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, told the New York Post his tax bill increased nearly $200 and his property value increased $7,000, even though he had to spend approximately $100,000 repairing his oceanfront home. He called the increase "insensitive and heartless."
"We just sustained one of the worst national disasters in our nation's history and now the city is delusional, claiming our property values went up," Zalcman said.
City Councilman Michael Nelson, D-Brooklyn, said the city must remedy the increases immediately.
"Common sense dictates their property values have fallen, if not plummeted in some cases," he said.
Owen Stone, city Finance Department spokesman, told the Post the hikes were part of a five-year formula for determining assessment levels.
Property owners have until March 15 to appeal the rates before they are finalized in May, the Post reported.