JAMESTOWN – Mayor Sam Teresi has signed off on a new housing program that is designed to address abandoned and vacant homes and properties in the city.
The program was first discussed in January at the request of city council woman Marie Carrubba. Earlier this summer the state legislature approved a resolution allowing the city to launch the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing the legislation at the end of July. In September the Jamestown City Council unanimously approved the law, and following a public hearing last week, Teresi signed it on Wednesday.
City officials say the program will allow investors who rehab vacant and condemned properties for owner-occupied residential use to qualify for a 12-year property tax abatement schedule.
The abatement period would last eleven years with an abatement schedule that begins with the property owner paying no property taxes in years one through three, 20 percent property tax in years four and five, and then seeing that amount increase by 20 percent for every following two years, until the full property tax value is paid by year 12.
Teresi has said that while the city doesn’t expect the program to have a large impact on addressing housing concerns in the city, it does help provide another option in addressing dilapidated, abandoned, and/or condemned homes.
In August city Development Director Vince DeJoy told WRFA that the number of active condemned properties in the city was 118, although many of those likely won’t be rehabilitated.