Tompkins County
New York


Authorizing a Public Hearing on Proposed Local Law No. c of 2017 – A Local Law Enacting the New York State Real Property Tax Law Section 485-g, Infrastructure Exemption


Category:Real Property


  1. Printout
  2. 2017 infrastructure exemption (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. LLc of 2017 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature wishes to encourage more housing units within the County, and


WHEREAS, one of the many impediments to building for-sale housing is the holding costs of the land after expending money on upgrading the infrastructure, and


WHEREAS, the New York State Legislature has authorized an exemption that would provide a three-year abatement on the increase in value due to the improvements made to the public infrastructure (utilities, sidewalks, and roads) so long as the developer retains ownership of the newly subdivided lots, now therefore be it


RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Government Operations Committees, That a public hearing be held before the Tompkins County Legislature in the Legislative Chambers of the Governor Daniel D Tompkins Buildings, 121 E Court St, Ithaca, New York on June 6, 2017, at 5:31 o'clock in the evening thereof concerning proposed Local Law No. c of 2017 - A Local Law Enacting the New York State Real Property Tax Law Section 485-g, Infrastructure Exemption.    At such time and place all persons interested in the subject matter will be heard concerning the same,


              RESOLVED, further, That the Clerk of the Legislature is hereby authorized and directed to place proper notice of such public hearing in the official newspaper of the County. 



Meeting History

May 3, 2017 3:30 PM  Government Operations Committee Regular Meeting

Mr. Franklin began by stating he is not advocating for or against this exemption as it is not his position and is only present to provide information. One of the most significant costs to a developer to do a new residential subdivision is the holding costs especially when installation of roads, gas utilities, water, and sewer lines are necessary. This exemption allows a three-year abatement for the added costs to adding in infrastructure as long as the developer retains ownership or a certificate of completion is granted.

Mr. Burbank asked if this exemption could be used to direct development in certain areas to avoid suburbanization. Mr. Franklin said with this section of law there is not a focus area that can be specified. Mr. Marx said he does not see any downside to adopting this exemption.

Mr. John said he would support having a hearing as he would like to hear from the public and developers. His concern is that it does not allow the County to focus on affordable housing; it gives the greatest benefit to developers that are developing in sprawled areas. In terms of policy, he believes the County wants more density as outlined in the Energy Roadmap.

Ms. Cosentini commented that this exemption would have a significant impact on the project she is pursuing on Five Mile Drive.

Ms. Robertson said there have been very little new neighborhood housing developments. She understands it is up to municipalities to have zoning that supports cluster development, transit oriented development, etc. and appreciates the Town of Ithaca is looking at this. If the County were to approve this exemption, it could show some leadership and other municipalities may consider adopting the exemption.

In response to Ms. Chock, Mr. Franklin said there are not a lot of incentives currently under the Real Property Tax Law relating to housing developments.

Ms. Chock said that she would also like to support this, but would like to know what other tools might be available to achieve the County’s goals for housing. Mr. Klein reminded the Committee there was a comprehensive report given on this at the last meeting.

Ms. Chock requested this not be on the consent agenda when presented to the Legislature.

MOVER:Dooley Kiefer, Member
SECONDER:Will Burbank, Member
AYES:Daniel Klein, Carol Chock, Dooley Kiefer, Rich John, Will Burbank
May 16, 2017 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Mr. John said he voted against this at the Committee as the County has a Comprehensive Plan and Energy Road Map that says we should be pushing things together, the greatest benefit would go to developers. He expressed concern that it is a blunt instrument and may help some developments but he can’t support this as he does not believe there would be a way to limit dense development.

Ms. Robertson asked what the tax exemption would equate to and if it would be supporting sprawl. She commented that there is a lack of new neighborhoods being built.

Mr. Franklin spoke to the exemption issue and said it would be difficult to know the affect it would have.

Mr. Marx addressed the question about sprawl and agreed with Ms. Robertson that there have been no new neighborhoods. He said there could be benefit and it could do things the Legislature would prefer not to happen.

Ms. Chock spoke of there being other tools in the toolbox. There are issues with the building of infrastructure that would be much longer than three years.

Mr. John said it doesn’t provide any benefit for in-fill which is the preferred option.

Mr. Stein was excused at this time.

Ms. Kiefer suggested adding “sidewalks” to the list in the third Whereas; this was accepted as friendly.

MOVER:Daniel Klein, Vice Chair
SECONDER:Dooley Kiefer, Member
AYES:James Dennis, Anna Kelles, Dooley Kiefer, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler
NAYS:Carol Chock, Rich John
EXCUSED:Will Burbank, Peter Stein