Lawmakers want to refund taxes

Tedisco, Farley propose bill to eliminate sales tax on flood recovery expenses

A sign thanking volunteers and emergency responders stands at the edge of a Rotterdam Junction resident’s front yard last week.

A sign thanking volunteers and emergency responders stands at the edge of a Rotterdam Junction resident’s front yard last week. Photo by John Purcell.

— It might take some time before residents are able put the sales tax credit money back into their pocket. Tedisco said he was unsure if the legislature would go back into session before normal business returns, so a date for passage is unclear. He said feedback from legislators on the bill has been positive.

“We just put it in today with senators and it is in place and ready to go,” said Tedisco. “I think most individuals, whether they were hit as hard as Schenectady and Schoharie counties, I think they realize the devastation of the storm.”

The tax credit would be applicable for the 2011 and 2012 income taxes of individuals or businesses. Tedisco urged flood victims to keep all their receipts for covered purchases to use since the credit is retroactive.

He said he's witnessed the effects of the storm himself because a staff member at his district office was forced to leave her home after floodwaters receded.

Anna Clifford, office assistant Tedisco, said she decided to leave her Stockade apartment on Ingersoll Avenue in Schenectady. Her 6-year-old son, she said, suffers from diabetes and asthma, so the presence of mold led her to decide not to return.

“I know what I feel like and I can only imagine what other people feel like. Some people have whole homes that were completely washed away,” said Clifford. “Everybody says I seem to be holding up pretty good, but it has been a long three weeks. The whole experience has been kind of surreal.”

Like other Stockade residents, she said she didn’t expect the flooding to be as severe as it turned out.

“I was actually painting my living room as the storm was coming,” she said. “It is pretty surreal. I didn’t expect anything like that. I have seen the water come a little high generally in spring when … everything starts melting. That is when I have seen it flood.”

She said she’s had some expenses due to the storm from moving and placing items in storage. Since the flooding, she has been staying with family members.

“Even through this hard time it has been pretty trying and you just do the best you can to stay positive,” she said. “I saw first hand the devastation, which I have never seen in my life before.”

The storm did unite the community even further, she said.

“The neighborhood came together pretty well though, everybody was helping everybody.”

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