Amsterdam’s Common Council approved a tax exemption and payment plan this week that’s expected to help a nonprofit agency rescue a rundown apartment complex in the city’s Fourth Ward.
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year gave failing grades to the Holland Gardens and Highland Gardens apartment buildings — each with 100 apartment units — after inspections.
HUD holds a mortgage on the properties and has ordered repairs be expedited.
Rome-based Liberty Affordable Housing is seeking to renovate all 200 units, situated on Church Street and Clizbe Avenue, and maintain the property.
The plan approved this week would maintain tax revenue currently received by the city, school district and county and help the company out with future costs it would face after a major rehabilitation, city Corporation Council Gerard DeCusatis said.
Both properties are assessed at $2 million and generate roughly $182,000 in revenue. Under the agreement, the company would pay that amount as a base each year and that payment would increase based on any change in federal guidelines approved by HUD. The plan will shield the company from the massive increase in assessed value a major renovation would bring while protecting the tax revenues currently relied on, DeCusatis said.
“What it prevents is the huge increase in assessment,” he said.
Fourth Ward Alderman David Dybas, who sent a letter of support to federal officials on financing for the major upgrade, sees the plan as a benefit to residents and their neighbors.
“If it improves the neighborhood, I’m all for it,” said Dybas, who said leaky roofs, mold and other issues have left “deplorable conditions.”
The agreement approved Tuesday would exempt Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. from property taxes and require two equal installments adding up to $182,036.
Efforts to reach officials at Liberty Affordable Housing Inc. for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.