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Assessor's Manual, Volume 4, Exemption Administration

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

Section 4.01 - RPTL Sections 485-h, 485-i, 485-j, 485-k, 485-l, 485-m, 485-q

Residential Investment in Certain Municipalities

Exemption Code(s): RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown) 44313
  RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District) 44314
  RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District) 4431_
  RPTL §485-i (City of Rome) 44323
  RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam) 44323
  RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls) 44323
  RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District) 44324
  RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District) 44324
  RPTL §485-j (City of Utica) 44343
  RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District) 44344
RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) 44313

Year Originally Enacted: RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown) 2002
  RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District) 2004
  RPTL §485-i (City of Rome) 2004
  RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam) 2006
  RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District) 2006
  RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls) 2006
  RPTL §485-j (City of Utica) 2006
  RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District) 2006
  RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District) 2007
  RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District) 2007
RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) 2014
Related Statutes: None

SUMMARY: To the extent allowed by local option, residential property that is constructed as the primary residence of the property owner and meets certain location and cost requirements (see Property Location and Property Use requirements below) is partially exempt from municipal taxation (see Limitation on Exemption below), but is liable for county taxes, county special ad valorem levies, and special assessments. The amount of the exemption is limited to a percentage of the increase in assessed value attributable to the construction, and may be granted only after the construction project has been completed. The duration of the exemption is limited to 10 years.


 

  • ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:  

1. Ownership Requirements: None.

2. Property Location Requirements:

§485-h Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 31,000 and not more than 32,000, as determined by the latest federal census. Based on the latest federal census, i.e. 2000, only Jamestown currently satisfies this criterion. Furthermore, if the city's local law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-i Property must be located in a school district serving a city having a population of less than 31,000 and not more than 32,000, as determined by the latest (meaning 2000) federal census (currently only the Jamestown City School District satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the school district's local resolution so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the school district as designated in local resolution (see Local Option below).

§485-i Property must be located in a city having a population of less than 34,000 and not more than 35,000, as determined by the latest (meaning 2000) federal census (currently only Rome satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the city's local law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-j Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 18,000 and not more than 18,500, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only Amsterdam satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the city's law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-j Property must be located in cities or school districts serving cities having a population of not less than 13,121 and not more than 13,141, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only Dunkirk and the Dunkirk City School district satisfy this criterion). Furthermore, if the city's law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-j Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 55,000 and not more than 56,000, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only Niagara Falls satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the city's law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-j Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 60,600 and not more than 61,000, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only Utica satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the city's law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

§485-k Property must be located in school districts serving cities having a population of not less than 60,600 and not more than 61,000, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only the Utica City School District satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the school district's resolution so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local resolution (see Local Option below).

§485-l Property must be located in school districts serving cities with a population of not less than 18,000 and not more than 18,500 (currently only the Greater Amsterdam School District satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the school district's resolution so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the school district as designated in local resolution (see Local Option below).

§485-m Property must be located in school districts serving cities of not less than 34,000 and not more than 35,000, as determined by the 2000 federal census (currently only the Rome City School District satisfies this criterion). Furthermore, if the school district's resolution provides, it must be located in specific areas of the school district as designated in local resolution (see Local Option below).

§485-q Property must be located in cities having a population of not less than 13,500 and not more than 14,000 as determined by the latest decennial census.  Currently, only the City of Oneonta satisfies this criterion.  Furthermore, if the city's local law so provides, it must be located in specific areas of the city as designated in local law (see Local Option below).

Also, if the municipality's local law or resolution so provides, the property must be located in specific areas of the municipality as designated in local law or resolution.

3. Property Use Requirements: The property must be used as the primary residence of the owner or owners, and if the municipality's local law or resolution provides, must be of a specific type as designated in local law or resolution (see Local Option below). The value of the construction must exceed the statutory minimum (see below) or a greater amount specified in local law or resolution (see Local Option below):

Exemption Lowest
Minimum
Expenditure
RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown): $30,000
RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District): $30,000
RPTL §485-i (City of Rome): $70,000
RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam): $70,000
RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District): $30,000
RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls): $70,000
RPTL §485-j (City of Utica): $60,000
RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District): $60,000
RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District): $70,000
RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District): $70,000
RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) $30,000

The construction project may not be one of ordinary maintenance or repairs.

4. Certification by State or Local Government: Completion of the construction project must be demonstrated by a certificate of occupancy or other appropriate document.

5. Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement: Construction must begin on or after the date required by state law (see below) or such later date specified by local law or resolution:
   

Exemption Date
RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown): January 1, 2003
RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District): January 1, 2003
RPTL §485-i (City of Rome): April 1, 2004
RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam): April 1, 2006
RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District): January 1, 2005
RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls): April 1, 2006
RPTL §485-j (City of Utica): January 1, 2005
RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District): January 1, 2005
RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District): July 1, 2007
RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District): January 1, 2008
RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) January 1. 2014

    1. LOCAL OPTION: Yes, eligible municipality taxing jurisdictions are allowed certain choices:

      1. Exemption -- To allow the exemption, a municipality meeting the population requirements may choose whether or not to allow the exemption. The option to exempt must be exercised by the municipality through adoption of a local law or resolution, and in all cases a public hearing must be held prior to adoption of the local law or resolution.
         
      2. Percentage of Exemption -- A municipality allowing the exemption may reduce the percentage of exemption allowed in each year by state law (see Calculation of Exemption below). If the percentage of exemption allowed is reduced, projects in the course of construction and exemptions existing prior to passage of the local law or resolution reducing the percentage of exemption will not be subject to such a reduction. Furthermore, a municipal corporation which has reduced the percentage of exemption may later increase the percentage of exemption up to the maximum allowed through adoption of an additional law or resolution, provided, however, that any such local law or resolution will apply only to construction commenced subsequent to the local law or resolution's effective date.
         
      3. Construction Start Date -- The municipality may specify in its local law any date after that required by state law (see Required Construction Date or Other Time Requirements above) as the date after which construction must have commenced for the property to be eligible for exemption.
         
      4. Construction Cost -- The municipality may, in its local law pr resolution, increase the required minimum cost of construction from any amount in excess of that required by state law to any greater amount not exceeding a maximum amount, as stated below.
         
        Exemption Lowest
        Minimum
        Expenditure
        Highest
        Maximum
        Expenditure
        RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown): $30,000 $70,000
        RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District): $30,000 $70,000
        RPTL §485-i (City of Rome): $70,000 $350,000
        RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam): $70,000 $350,000
        RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District): $30,000 $70,000
        RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls): $70,000 $350,000
        RPTL §485-j (City of Utica): $60,000 $325,000
        RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District): $60,000 $325,000
        RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District): $70,000 $350,000
        RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District): $70,000 $350,000
        RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) $30,000 $70,000

         
      5. Residential Incentive Board -- Each municipality may, by local law or resolution, establish a Residential Incentive Board. The Board must present to the appointing local legislative body a plan that addresses the following: 
         
        1. Eligible Residential Property: The plan must designate which types of residential property should be eligible for the exemption.
           
        2. Extent of Exemption: The plan must recommend whether the exemption granted should apply the basic percentage of exemption or, where applicable, the accelerated strategic exemption schedule.
           
        3. Eligible areas: The plan must identify specific geographic areas in the municipality where the exemption should be made available.

        In developing its plan, the Residential Incentive Board (RIB) must consider the planning objectives of the municipality, the necessity of the exemption to attract or retain homeowners and the economic benefit to the exemption area. (In the case of Jamestown City School District, the Dunkirk City School District, the Utica City School District, the Greater Amsterdam School District, and the Rome City School District, the RIB must consider the planning objectives of the school district.)

        If a municipality establishes a Residential Incentive Board, it may adopt a local law or resolution restricting eligible residential property to those which have been designated by the RIB. If adopted, such a local law or resolution must restrict the availability of the exemption to specific geographic areas identified in the plan submitted by the Board. Where allowed by state law, such a local law or resolution may also authorize use of the accelerated strategic exemption schedule. If this schedule is authorized in the local law or resolution, the law or resolution must: (1) contain findings that the adoption of this accelerated strategic exemption is necessary to encourage targeted residential development, and that the value of the exemptions to be provided is justified by the need to broaden the tax base; (2) limit the applicability of such schedule to projects where the cost of construction exceeds the maximum allowable amount for the exemption (see Construction Cost above); and (3) provide that such exemptions are restricted to designated geographic areas. (The accelerated strategic exemption may only be approved by the City of Jamestown (RPTL §485-h), the City of Oneonta (RPTL §485-q) and by the Jamestown City School District (RPTL §485-i).)  

    2. LIMITATION ON EXEMPTION:

      1. §485-h (City of Jamestown), §485-i (City of Rome), §485-j (City of Amsterdam), §485-j (City of Niagara Falls), §485-j (City of Utica), §485-q (City of Oneonta)
                  
        General
      Municipal
      Taxes
      School
      District
      Taxes
      Special
      Ad Valorem
      Levies
      Special
      Assessments
      1. Amount Yes* No
      exemption
      allowed
      No
      exemption
      allowed
      No
      exemption
      allowed
      2. Duration 10 years No
      exemption
      allowed
      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
      NA NA NA NA
      d. Village NA NA NA NA
      e. School District NA Tax NA NA
        Ex-Exempt Tax-Taxable NA-Not Applicable
      * See Calculation of Exemption below.
      ** If allowed by local option.

       2. §485-i (Jamestown City School District), §485-k (Utica City School District), §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District), §485-m (Rome City School District)
         
        
        General
      Municipal
      Taxes
      School
      District
      Taxes
      Special
      Ad Valorem
      Levies
      Special
      Assessments
      1. Amount No
      exemption
      allowed
      Yes* No
      exemption
      allowed
      No
      exemption
      allowed
      2. Duration No
      exemption
      allowed
      10 years No
      exemption
      allowed
      No
      exemption
      allowed
      3. Taxing Jurisdiction
      a. County or
      County Special Districts
      Tax NA Tax Tax
      b. City Tax NA NA Tax
      c. Town or Town
      Special District
      NA NA NA NA
      d. Village NA NA NA NA
      e. School District NA Ex** NA NA
        Ex-Exempt Tax-Taxable NA-Not Applicable
      * See Calculation of Exemption below.
      ** If allowed by local option.

      3. §485-j (City of Dunkirk and Dunkirk School District)
       
        General
      Municipal
      Taxes
      School
      District
      Taxes
      Special
      Ad Valorem
      Levies
      Special
      Assessments
      1. Amount Yes* Yes* No
      exemption
      allowed
      No
      exemption
      allowed
      2. Duration 10 years 10 years 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
      NA NA NA NA
      d. Village NA NA NA NA
      e. School District NA Ex** NA NA
        Ex-Exempt Tax-Taxable NA-Not Applicable
      * See Calculation of Exemption below.
      ** If allowed by local option.

        
    3. PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES: None Required.
       
    4. CALCULATION OF EXEMPTION:

      1.   General Municipal and School District Taxes: The schedule to be followed in calculating the exemption depends on which of the two types of exemption available the general municipal or school district taxing jurisdiction has chosen to grant: the basic exemption or the accelerated strategic exemption. The exemption applies only to certain municipal taxes as specified below:

      RPTL §485-h (City of Jamestown): city taxes
      RPTL §485-i (Jamestown City School District): school district taxes
      RPTL §485-i (City of Rome): city taxes
      RPTL §485-j (City of Amsterdam): city taxes
      RPTL §485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District): city taxes, school district taxes
      RPTL §485-j (City of Niagara Falls): city taxes
      RPTL §485-j (City of Utica): city taxes
      RPTL §485-k (Utica City School District): school district taxes
      RPTL §485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District): school district taxes
      RPTL §485-m (Rome City School District): school district taxes
      RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) city taxes

      1. Basic Exemption: Unless reduced by local law, the following percentages of the increase in assessed value resulting from the construction should be applied: 
         
        Year of Exemption Percentage of Exemption
        1 50
        2 45
        3 40
        4 35
        5 30
        6 25
        7 20
        8 15
        8 10
        10 5

         
      2. Accelerated Strategic Exemption: The following percentages of the increase in assessed value attributable to the construction should be applied (currently available only under RPTL § 485-h (City of Jamestown), RPTL §485-q (City of Oneonta) and § 485-i (Jamestown City School District):
         
        Year of Exemption Percentage of Exemption
        1 50
        2 45
        3 40
        4 35
        5 30
        6 25
        7 20
        8 15
        8 10
        10 5

        Note: As enacted, the "basic" exemption and the "accelerated strategic" exemption are the same.

        For both of the above types of exemption, the exempt amount for each year is to be calculated on the basis of the "exemption base," defined as the increase in assessed value in the first year of the 10-year period, unless there has occurred in any year a change in the assessing unit's level of assessment of 15% or more for a final assessment roll, in which case the exemption base must be adjusted by the fraction resulting by dividing the total assessed value of the parcel on that final roll (after accounting for any physical or quantity changes since the prior roll) by the total assessed value on the immediately preceding assessment roll. See Reporting Requirements (Assessor) below.  

      2.   Special Ad Valorem Levies and Special Assessments: Cities and school districts do not levy special ad valorem levies; no exemption from special assessments is allowed.

    5. CODING OF EXEMPTION ON ASSESSMENT ROLL:
       
      Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible
      44313 § 485-h (City of Jamestown)
      §485-q (City of Oneonta)
      44314 § 485-i (Jamestown City School District)
      4431_ § 485-j (City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District)
      44323 § 485-i (City of Rome)
         § 485-j (City of Amsterdam)
         § 485-j (City of Niagara Falls)
      44324 § 485-l (Greater Amsterdam School District)
         § 485-m (Rome City School District)
      44343 § 485-j (City of Utica)
      44344 § 485-k (Utica City School District)

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

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

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

      §485-h (City of Jamestown):

      Form RP-485-h [Jamestown] (8/03) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption; Certain Cities

      §485-i Jamestown City School District:

      Form RP-485-i [Jamestown CSD] (9/04) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption; Certain School Districts

      §485-i-City of Rome:

      Form RP-485-i [Rome] (9/04) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption; Certain Cities

      §485-j-City of Amsterdam:

      Form RP-485-j [Amsterdam] (7/06) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain Cities

      §485-j-City of Dunkirk, Dunkirk City School District:

      Form RP-485-j [Dunkirk and Dunkirk CSD] (7/06) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain Cities and Certain School Districts

      §485-j-City of Niagara Falls:

      Form RP-485-j [Niagara Falls] (7/06) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain Cities

      §485-j-City of Utica:

      Form RP-485-j [Utica] (7/06) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain Cities

      §485-k-Utica City School District:

      Form RP-485-k [Utica CSD] (7/06) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain School Districts

      §485-l-Greater Amsterdam School District:

      Form RP-485-l [Amsterdam SD] (8/07) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain School Districts

      §485-m-Rome City School District

      Form RP-485-m [Rome SD] (10/08) -- Application for Residential Real Property Tax Exemption: Certain School Districts


      §485-q (City of Oneonta)):

      Form RP-485-q [Oneonta] (12/14) -- Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption; Certain Cities

      For each of these exemptions, application is required in the first year only. Application must be filed within one year of the date of completion of the construction project.

    7. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Assessor):

      Where the exemption base is adjusted because of a change in the assessing unit's level of assessment of 15% or more (see Calculation of Exemption above), the assessor must provide written notice of such exemption adjustment to the property owner. The owner may apply for a correction as provided under RPTL §§552 and 553, if he or she believes the adjustment was calculated incorrectly.

    8. SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS:
       
      Subject Statute
      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
      Home improvements RPTL §421-f
      Living quarters for parent or grandparent RPTL §469
      New residential property in certain cities RPTL §485-m
      Residential improvements in cities with population of
      less than 200,000 and more than 150,000
      L.1986, Ch. 889
      Residential property improvements in certain cities RPTL §485-j
      Residential property improvements in certain towns RPTL §485-l

 Exemption Application Forms and Instructions: Available at property tax forms website.

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