Town property taxes will be cut in half for a year for anybody willing to build a new home in the town of Schoharie, and existing homeowners who build an addition for their parents won’t see any increase in taxes at all.
Town officials are hoping these and other tax breaks approved last week will encourage more people to consider living in the town, which is still struggling with the aftereffects of Tropical Storm Irene.
Town Supervisor Gene Milone said he’s delivering the new tax abatement program to the school district, the village of Schoharie and Schoharie County in hopes they will consider similar offerings.
“There’s a constant cry for business and additional residents to help the tax base,” Milone said Tuesday. “I just saw this as the perfect way to address this and hope for the best.”
Though town taxes represent the smallest tax burden facing property owners, Councilman Matt Brisley said it should serve as a sign to prospective residents that Schoharie is welcoming.
“Rather than moving to Saratoga County, move to Schoharie County,” he said. “Driving through the valley, we know we could definitely use some more people in our community.”
Brisley said he hopes the village, county and school district will offer the same benefits, but he sees the town’s effort as a good start.
“Somebody’s got to get the ball rolling, and if we can get something going on at the town level and that’s it, well, it’s better than nothing,” he said.
The town currently collects $4.52 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
The Town Board last week approved four types of abatements. Town Assessor Steven Rubeor explained the details:
u First-time homebuyers will have their taxes cut in half the first year after buying a newly built house. The tax break will gradually decrease in years 2-6, with the full tax bill due starting in year 6.
The same scale would apply for improvements valued at $3,000 or more to an existing house by a first-time homebuyer moving to the town.
• Improvements of $3,000 or greater made by people who already own their homes won’t be taxed the first year under an eight-year abatement. In each ensuing year from year 2-9, 12.5 percent of the value of the renovations will be added to the home’s assessment, with full taxes due starting in year 9.
• There will be no tax increase on additions to an existing home built to house parents or grandparents. The benefit requires an annual application, with no fee.
• Commercial properties adding residential space won’t be taxed on the value of the improvements for the first eight years. The added value will be increasingly taxed in years 9-13, with full taxation starting in year 13. Rubeor said the benefit is applicable for fully or partially changing a commercial property to residential, as long as there are no pre-existing apartments or other living quarters and at least $10,000 is spent on the project.
Those interested in the program will need to apply before the improvements are made. Call Rubeor at 295-6571 for details.