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Legislature Urges Real Property Tax Law Amendment to Support Local Affordable Housing

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Legislature Urges Real Property Tax Law Amendment to Support Local Affordable Housing

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Legislature urged the State Legislature to amend the Real Property Tax Law, creating a new section of law that would allow Tompkins County, by local law, to grant a partial exemption to residential properties subject to resale restrictions. The vote was unanimous, with Legislator Carol Chock abstaining due her family connection with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services.

INHS Director Paul Mazzarella told Legislators that the Community Housing Trust program provides permanently affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income homeowners, in part through limitations on future resale prices. Real property Tax Law, however, does not allow consideration of such limitations when determining the assessed valuation of such properties, resulting in assessed values that can far exceed the restricted resale value. This provision in State law, the measure states, deters the development and purchase of homes through the community land trust program, exacerbating the shortage of affordable housing in Tompkins County.