Tompkins County
New York

Report or Discussion Item

Condominium Development - Jay Franklin, Director of Assessment


Department:Housing CommitteeSponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. Jay Franklin Memo Re Condos 4-16-18

Meeting History

Apr 16, 2018 3:00 PM  Housing Committee Regular Meeting

Mr. Franklin reviewed his memo dated April 17, 2018, regarding Condos in Tompkins County and New York State in detail. He spoke with Monroe County Real Property Director and the process seems a bit easier to establish condos; he will obtain more information regarding their process.

Following Ms. Robertson’s inquiry about having to sell 50% of the units in condominium development in Tompkins County upfront, Mr. Franklin explained that the 50% sale upfront is a requirement of the bank financing for the development. He said this is a financial barrier and one reason why more are not built in this area.

Ms. Dawson asked how it is easier to gain approval in the Rochester area than in Ithaca if all plans need to be approved by the New York State Attorney General. Mr. Franklin stated he is not certain, but he will look into it. Ms. Dawson also spoke about the assessment of property at 100% fair market value and later it sells at a higher price and asked why it isn’t reassessed at that higher price. Mr. Franklin explained that the County does assess at 100% fair market value in most instances but Real Property Tax Law §339-y does not permit him to assess condos for what they would actually sell for. In addition, he said the County assesses the value of the property at its current use and not the highest and best use and stated in some areas the actual “dirt” a structure sits on is more valuable than the dilapidated structure. If the structure is torn down then the vacant land can be assessed at its highest and best use.

Ms. Koreman inquired about home owner associations (HOA) and how they relate to the encouragement of more affordable housing. Mr. Franklin stated he is not certain but regular development seems to be less expensive and easier to build due in part as it does not need approval from the New York State Attorney General. He added that the tax benefits of owning a condominium are better than owning a house.

Ms. Kelles spoke of the State regulations regarding condominiums being established to deal with issues that came up in New York City, but are causing problems here. She asked if Mr. Franklin knew of any conversations taking place at the State level to streamline the application process or to address this. Mr. Franklin stated he has not heard of anything.

Mr. Franklin believes there is demand for condominiums due to the rental market beginning to soften; there may be more of a push for development of units that are going to be sold versus units that are being rented. He said developers may begin to look at something else to do.