Authorizes the Schenectady city assessor to accept an application for a historical preservation real property tax exemption from Excelsior Development Partners LLC for rehabilitation of the former Woodlawn School.
Ayes (8): Martins, Ball, Little, McDonald, Ritchie, Stewart-Cousins, Oppenheimer, Klein
Ayes (59): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (3): Bonacic, Larkin, O'Mara
TITLE OF BILL: An act to authorize the assessor of the city of Schenectady to accept an application for a real property tax exemption for certain property in the city of Schenectady, county of Schenectady
PURPOSE: This bill permits the City of Schenectady to accept a late application for a historic property rehabilitation exemption related to the conversion of an old school building into apartments. If accepted, the bill allows the exemption to be granted and any applicable taxes, fines, penalties and liens to be cancelled.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill permits the Schenectady City Assessor to accept an application from Excelsior Development Partners for an exemption from real property taxes under Section 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law, which provides a temporary exemption for the rehabilitation of historic property. If accepted, such application shall be reviewed as if it had been received on or before the taxable status date and as if the alterations or rehabilitation of such property had been completed subsequent to the effective date of the exemption.
JUSTIFICATION: Section 444-a of the RPTL seeks to encourage the rehabilitation of historic properties by allowing, at local option, a 10 year tax exemption, with the value of the exemption phasing down over such period.
In 2000, the City of Schenectady adopted a local law to opt into this program. Over the years, the exemption was applied to both city taxes and school taxes.
In 2008, Excelsior Development Partners initiated a project to convert an old school building into apartments, restoring the building to productive use and helping to revitalize the neighborhood. The company sought the historic property tax exemption, with the financial viability of the project, as well as the rents charged to tenants, being based on receiving such exemption. Although the company received the exemption on its city taxes, it was discovered that the School District had never opted into this program and therefore the company did not receive the exemption on its school taxes.
The company subsequently met with officials from the City and from the School District, and the City School Board agreed to opt into the historic property rehabilitation program, as well as several other local option property tax exemption programs. However, at that point the taxable status date had already passed. This bill would resolve this problem by providing the City Assessor with the ability to accept a late application for this specific property.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:There is no fiscal impact for the City of Schenectady, which has been allowing this particular tax exemption since 2000. The City School District has agreed to provide this tax exemption as well. The District will forego some revenue, but will benefit in the long term from the project which returned an old abandoned school into a new productive use as an apartment complex.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5197 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to authorize the assessor of the city of Schenectady to accept an application for a real property tax exemption for certain property in the city of Schenectady, county of Schenectady THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the assessor of the city of Schenectady is hereby authorized to accept from the Excelsior Development Partners LLC an application for exemption from real property taxes pursuant to section 444-a of the real property tax law, for the parcel known as the former Woodlawn School located at 103 Kings Road, city of Schenectady, county of Schenectady, otherwise known as Schenectady county tax map section 60.38, block 2, lot 1.21. If accepted, the application shall be reviewed as if it had been received on or before the taxable status date established for such rolls and the alterations or rehabilitation of such property had been completed subse- quent to the effective date of any local law or resolution authorizing such exemption. If satisfied that such entity would otherwise be entitled to such exemption if such entity had filed an application for exemption by the appropriate taxable status date, the assessor, upon approval by the city of Schenectady, may make appropriate correction to the applicable rolls. If such exemption is granted and such entity, therefore, shall have paid any tax with respect to the subject rolls, the applicable governing body or tax department may, in its sole discretion, provide for the refund of those taxes paid and cancel those taxes, fines, penalties, liens, or interest remaining unpaid. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11241-01-1