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Legislature Approves Infrastructure Exemption

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Legislature Approves Infrastructure Exemption

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

After a public hearing, the Legislature, by a vote of 8-5 (Legislators Will Burbank, Carol Chock, Rich John, Dooley Kiefer, and Jim Dennis voted no; Legislator Peter Stein was excused), approved a new Local Law adopting a permitted exemption under New York State Real Property Tax Law on infrastructure improvements made by a developer. The law provides a three-year abatement of County tax on the increase in value due to improvements made to public infrastructure (utilities and road), as long as the developer retains ownership of the newly subdivided lots. Those holding costs are described as one of the many impediments to building for-sale housing.

Several Legislators, who later voted against the exemption, expressed concern that the measure would address the issue of building affordable housing with too broad a brush—that it might have unintended consequences, such as encouraging sprawl. Legislator Martha Robertson characterized the exemption as “one small tool that could help.”