Republicans once again block property tax break

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Legislator Dan Farfaglia can’t get the Republican caucus to agree to give a property tax exemption to homeowners who make improvements to their dwellings.

During last Thursday’s meeting, Farfaglia attempted to bring a resolution to the floor that would provide a public hearing on the proposal. The resolution would bring back a program that expired several years ago, however, few residents took advantage of the program.

Farfaglia said he believes with more publicity, the program would be better utilized.

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. Farfaglia asked for the rules to be waived so that he could introduce the resolution to schedule a public hearing.

Legislator Dan Chalifoux objected and called a point of order. Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler said Farfaglia had the right to introduce the resolution.

Majority Leader Jack Proud said he objected to the procedure because the Republican caucus had not received a copy of the resolution prior to the meeting.

County Attorney Richard Mitchell ruled the procedure was proper.  Farfaglia made an argument for the exemption, citing that other counties offer the program.

Chalifoux again voiced objection.

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