Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Plan 2014


Comment Received

IJC Response

Plan 2014 will decrease property taxes in the four south shore counties in New York State, which are among the five highest county tax rates, due to reducing the value of waterfront property and shifting the tax burden to other taxpayers in Wayne County, many of whom cannot afford it.

Studies have attempted to find correlations between coastal hazards and property values, but long-term trends are difficult to document. Damages from Plan 2014 are almost entirely to shore protection structures, not buildings.

Plan 2014 will increase flood insurance rates in New York State and the number of properties in the flood zone. This will decrease property values and the tax base.

The U.S. Great Lakes Coastal Flood Study, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has developed a new methodology for coastal flood hazard analysis and mapping in the U.S. Great Lakes coastal zone.  IJC analysis does not indicate that the differences in high water levels between Plan 1958DD and Plan 2014 are large enough to affect floodplain delineation.  A draft of FEMA’s Great Lakes Coastal Guidelines, Appendix D.3 update is available online.

Plan 2014 supports regional economic prosperity as communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River depend on environmental health to support the flourishing outdoor recreation economy, birding, hunting, and angling activities.

Plan 2014 will provide net economic improvements, however the IJC did not calculate the economic impact to these three recreational activities. The IJC believes that Plan 2014 will help restore the diversity of wetlands to the benefit of birding, hunting and fishing. It will also extend the boating season in most years, which will bring economic benefits to the region.