Letters regarding real property tax relief to people who rehabilitate vacant buildings to Hon. John J. McEneny
Published on 5/7/2008
May 7, 2008
Hon. John J. McEneny
Albany, New York 12248
Dear Assemblyman McEneny:
The city of Albany, as you know, has a vacant/abandoned building problem. The number of vacant buildings in Albany is approaching 1,000! One way to help alleviate this problem is to provide real property tax relief to those people who rehabilitate these vacant homes and turn them into habitable structures once again. The city of Philadelphia instituted this type of real property tax exemption and has seen an increase of 10,000 people in its downtown population since 2000.
The city of Syracuse has decided that the tax exemption approach is the way to go in order to not only reverse the trend toward more buildings becoming vacant, but to turn vacant buildings into inhabited buildings once again. Senate Bills S.7814 and S.7816 and their companion Assembly Bills A.10834 and A.10835 have recently been introduced in the state legislature to give Syracuse the power to offer a real property tax exemption for new home construction and rehabilitation of vacant/abandoned buildings. These bills also provide a tax exemption for “green” structures through LEED certification. I believe the tax exemption incentive is a major piece of the puzzle needed to help Albany reduce the number of vacant/abandoned buildings in our city.
Please consider introducing similar legislation for Albany that has been introduced for Syracuse.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Common Council Member – First Ward