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GOP legislators block property tax break

by Carol Thompson

Republican lawmakers blocked an effort by the Democrat caucus that would allow homeowners who make improvements to their property to receive a tax break.

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Oswego County Legislature’s Consumer and Community Affairs Committee, a resolution was presented to schedule a public hearing on the issue.

Legislator Jake Mulcahey, a Democrat, made the motion to set the hearing date. Legislators Dan Chalifoux, Mary Flett, Kevin Gardner, Terry Wilbur, John Martino and Robert Hayes, all Republicans, sat in silence.

With the lack of a second to the motion, the resolution cannot be brought to the floor. “I guess it dies then,” said Wilbur, who chairs the committee.

According to an informational memorandum submitted by Legislator Dan Farfaglia, the resolution would bring back a program that expired several years ago, however, few residents took advantage of the program.

The proposed law would have given residential homeowners the opportunity to make improvements in excess of $30,000 for a 100-percent exemption on the increase in the assessed value attributable to the reconstruction, alteration or improvements for the first year and for the following four years on a sliding scale basis.

The exemption would be limited to $80,000 in increased market value of the property.

The exemption would not be available to those making routine maintenance and repairs. Eligible properties could not be more than two family homes and the greater portion of the home to be improved is at least five years old.

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