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Hearing Scheduled on Proposed Infrastructure Exemption

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Hearing Scheduled on Proposed Infrastructure Exemption

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Legislature, by a vote of 10-2, scheduled a public hearing for its next meeting on June 6th, 5:31 p.m., to take comment on a possible new Local Law that would, if approved, adopt a permitted exemption under New York State Real Property Tax Law on infrastructure improvements made by a developer. (Legislators Carol Chock and Jim Dennis voted no; Legislators Will Burbank and Peter Stein were excused.) The proposed law would provide 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.

Legislators Chock and Rich John were among those who expressed some concern during discussion before the vote—both suggesting that, since it cannot be focused on specific areas or types of development, it could support sprawl. Mr. John again characterized it as a “blunt instrument” to deal with the housing issue. Asked by Legislators to comment, Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability Ed Marx noted that an issue has been identified as part of the County’s housing needs assessment that no new neighborhoods are being built. While there could be some sprawl, he believes the proposed exemption might provide marginal help.