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Assessor's Manual, Volume 4, ExemptionAdministration

Exemption Administration Manual - Part 1
Residential - Other Than Multiple Dwellings

Section 4.01 - RPTL Section 485-o

New Residential Property in Certain Cities

Exemption Code(s): Vacant Residential 44456
        LEED - Certified/Silver 44466
        LEED - Gold 44476
        LEED - Platinum 44486

Year Originally Enacted:     2013

Related Statutes:     None.

SUMMARY: If approved by local law, the rehabilitation of formerly vacant residential structures determined to be unoccupied hazards, and the construction of new one- or two-family residences which are located in cities of at least 130,000 but not more than 160,000 residents based on the 2010 federal census (i.e., Syracuse (Onondaga County)) are partially exempt from city and school taxes. Qualified new residential structures built to certain energy efficiency and environmental standards are eligible for a longer exemption. Such partial exemption, for the value added by the improvements, is based on schedules that apply to different types of improvements. No exemption is allowed from county taxes, county special ad valorem levies, and special assessments. Applications for this exemption must be filed prior to the expiration of this section of law (see G. Filing Requirements below).

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
    1. Ownership Requirements: Property must be owned by a private individual or organization.
       
    2. Property Location Requirements: Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 130,000, and not more than 160,000, as measured in the 2010 federal census. Only Syracuse (Onondaga County) satisfies this criterion.
       
    3. Property Use Requirements: Property must be either (1) a rehabilitated formerly vacant residential building that has been determined to be an unoccupied hazard, all or a substantial part of which has remained unoccupied for at least one year with doors, windows, or other openings that were broken, removed, boarded or sealed up, (2) a new one- or two-family residence that meets the certified/silver, gold, or platinum standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) published by the U.S. Green Building Council, or (3) a new one- or two-family residence meeting requirements set in the City's local law.

      The value of such a rehabilitation or new construction project must be greater than $20,000. Ordinary maintenance and repairs do not qualify as construction or improvements. The exemption granted to a newly constructed one- or two-family residence ceases if such a building is no longer used primarily as a one- or two-family residence.

    4. Certification by State or Local Government: Each rehabilitation project must be pre-approved by the city assessor and director of code enforcement prior to the commencement of the renovation. The pre-approval must be in writing, and must certify that the building to be totally rehabilitated constitutes an unoccupied hazard. A copy of a certificate prepared by a LEED-accredited professional regarding compliance with LEED environmental building standards must be filed with the assessor for each newly constructed one- or two-family residence whose owner claims exemption as a silver, gold or platinum LEED-certified home. The building renovation or new construction must be documented by a building permit, if applicable, or other appropriate documentation as required by the assessor, such as a certificate of occupancy.
       
    5. Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement:  Rehabilitation or new construction must commence on or after January 1, 2013. Application for exemption must be filed with the assessor on or before the applicable taxable status date and within one year from the date of completion of construction.
       
  2. LOCAL OPTION: Yes -- the city is allowed two choices:
    1. Adopt the Exemption: A local law is required to adopt the Section 485-o exemption. Such a local law may provide that the exemption applies to qualified renovations and new home construction that begin on or after January 1, 2013.  
    2. Termination of Exemption: The city may provide in its local law procedures for eliminating the exemption previously granted to a particular property after the assessor and the director of code enforcement determine that a property has serious code violations which have not been corrected and/or that the owner of such a property has not paid any judgments and/or fines, penalties and costs for the property that are owed in accordance with the applicable laws, local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
       
  3. LIMITATION ON EXEMPTION:
        General
    Municipal
    Taxes
    School
    District
    Taxes
    Special
    Ad Valorem
    Levies
    Special
    Assessments
    1. Amount Yes* Yes* No
    exemption
    allowed**
    No
    exemption
    allowed
    2. Duration Yes* Yes* No
    exemption
    allowed**
    No
    exemption
    allowed
    3. Taxing Jurisdiction a.  County or
    County
    Special Districts
    Tax NA Tax Tax
    b. City Ex*** NA NA Tax
    c. Town or Town
    Special District
    Tax NA Tax Tax
    d. Village Tax NA NA Tax
    e. School District NA Ex*** NA NA
    Ex - Exempt          Tax - Taxable          NA - Not Applicable

    * See Calculation of Exemption below.
    ** No exemption allowed for county special ad valorem levies.
    ***If allowed by local option. Please note that the exemption would apply to taxes the City of Syracuse levies for city and school purposes, since the Syracuse City School District is a financially dependent school district (Education Law, Article 52).

  4. PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES:     None required.
     
  5. CALCULATION OF EXEMPTION:
    1. General Municipal and School District Taxes: The schedule to be followed in calculating the exemption depends on which exemption applies: a rehabilitated formerly vacant residential building, a new residential structure, or a new residential structure that meets energy efficiency and environmental standards in one of three categories specified in the LEED program: silver; gold; or platinum. (These standards can be found at www.usgbc.org). For all of the exemption schedules listed below, the exempt amount for each year is to be calculated on the basis of the "exemption base," defined as the increase in the assessed value due to qualified improvements in the initial year of the term of each exemption schedule. The exemption applies only to city and school district taxes.
      1. Rehabilitated Formerly Vacant Residential Building or A Newly Constructed Residence That Does Not Meet LEED Standards: The following percentages of the increase in assessed value resulting from the rehabilitation or construction should be applied:
        Year of Exemption Percentage of
        Exemption
        1 100
        2 100
        3 100
        4 100
        5 100
        6 100
        7 100
        8 75
        9 50
        10 25

         
      2. Newly Constructed Residential Structures Qualifying for LEED Certification (by designated category): The following percentages of the increase in assessed value resulting from the new construction should be applied:
          Percentage of Exemption
        Year of Exemption (1) Certified/Silver (2) Gold (3) Platinum
        1 100 100 100
        2 100 100 100
        3 100 100 100
        4 100 100 100
        5 100 100 100
        6 100 100 100
        7 100 100 100
        8 100 100 100
        9 80 100 100
        10 60 80 100
        11 40 60 100
        12 20 40 75
        13 n/a 20 50
        14 n/a n/a 25

         
    2. Special Ad Valorem Levies and Special Assessments: Cities and school districts do not impose special ad valorem levies; no exemption is allowed for county special ad valorem levies. No exemption is allowed for special assessments.
       
  6. CODING OF EXEMPTION ON ASSESSMENT ROLL:
    Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible
    44456 Vacant or New Residential
    44466 LEED -- Certified/Silver
    44476 LEED -- Gold
    44486 LEED -- Platinum

    Assessment Roll Section(s): Taxable (RPS Section 1).

    NOTE: These codes should not be used to identify property that is exempt under any of the statutes listed under Similar Exemptions below. For coding of such properties, see the Exemption Profile for the statutes that apply.

  7. FILING REQUIREMENTS (Owner or Occupant of Property):

    The Syracuse Assessment Department has posted an explanation of the exemption and application forms on the City of Syracuse's Internet Website at www.syracuse.ny.us Further information may be obtained by contacting the Syracuse Assessment Department at City Hall, Room 130, Syracuse, NY 13202 or at (315) 448-8280.

  8. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Assessor): None.
     
  9. SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS:
    Subject Statute
    Capital improvements to residential buildings in certain towns RPTL §421-l
    Certain living quarters constructed to be occupied by a senior citizen or disabled individual RPTL §467-d
     
    First-time homebuyers of newly constructed homes RPTL §457
    Green buildings RPTL §470
     
    Private one- and two-family dwellings and certain
        multiple dwellings in New York City
    RPTL §421-b
    Residential capital improvements in certain cities RPTL §421-ff
     
    Residential investment in certain municipalities RPTL § §485-h, 485-i, 485-j, 485-k, 485-l, 485-m
     
    Residential property improvements in certain cities RPTL §485-j
     
    Residential property improvements in certain towns RPTL §485-l

    Exemption Application Form:

    Available at www.syracuse.ny.us

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