New York comptroller proposes 'storm bonds' for Sandy relief

Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:31pm EST

Dec 14 (Reuters) - New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Friday proposed legislation that would allow the state's local governments to issue "storm bonds" to help finance rebuilding and repair costs after superstorm Sandy.

"To help local governments limit further economic consequences, we should provide municipalities and school districts with additional financial tools to reduce the fiscal impact of this storm on local taxpayers," DiNapoli said in a statement.

The bonds he proposed would be repaid over five years and would allow local governments greater flexibility to borrow to pay for storm costs, the statement said, noting that local governments are normally restricted from borrowing to pay for non-capital project expenses.

DiNapoli's package of legislation would also temporarily ease restrictions on the use of reserve funds to pay for storm-related expenses, allow local governments to provide relief from property taxes to owners of properties that lost half or more of their value due to the storm and give local governments more time to repay loans from internal funds.

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