[Adopted 4-20-2004 by L.L. No. 4-2004]
This article shall be known as the "Town of Woodstock Historic Preservation and Property Tax Exemption Law."
This article is enacted pursuant to §§ 96-a and 119-aa through 119-dd of the General Municipal Law, § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law, § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, § 130 of the Town Law, and other legislative authority of the State of New York, as amended from time to time.
This real property tax exemption for historic properties is enacted for the following purposes:
To provide incentives for owners of property located in districts designated as historic districts and owners of property designated as historic by the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design to invest in the upkeep and rehabilitation of such properties;
To assist homeowners who are interested in restoring their own properties but may not be able to afford to do so when faced with potential increases in property taxes as a result of the alterations which would qualify for this exemption;
To provide an incentive for the restoration and rehabilitation of commercial properties which are designated as historic by the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design by providing financial advantages which may help to attract and retain businesses in the Town of Woodstock;
To provide financial incentives for investment in affordable residential housing in structures or districts designated as historic by the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design;
To provide a concrete benefit to offset the possible financial disadvantages of owning historically or architecturally significant properties which are subject to regulation by the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design and/or the Zoning Law of the Town of Woodstock; and
To create a real property tax exemption that preserves or increases the historic character of real property located within the Town of Woodstock.
All properties, including those within designated historic districts, that are listed on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register shall be eligible for the exemption provided in this article.
Any property owner may apply to the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design, on such form or forms as may be determined by the Commission for Civic Design from time to time, for the inclusion of his or her property on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register. Criteria for inclusion of a property on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register are as follows:
The real property shall be located within the boundaries of the Town of Woodstock.
For structures, they must not be less than 50 years old unless the Commission for Civic Design determines that the property is of exceptional value to the community. There shall be no age limitation for parcels of vacant land that are historically significant, archaeologically significant or significant to the culture of Woodstock.
No parcel of real property shall be eligible for the exemption provided unless at least one of the following criteria is established:
The property is associated with documented events significant to the Town of Woodstock;
The property is associated with the life of a person or persons who, through documentation, have been found to be significant to the history of Woodstock;
The property embodies a distinctive characteristic of a type, period or method of construction, or represents the work of a master, or possesses high artistic value, or represents a significant distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
The property has yielded, or may be likely to yield, archaeological information important to the Town's prehistory or history.
Only real property listed on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to alteration or rehabilitation of such parcel of real property pursuant to the following schedule:
No such exemption shall be granted for such alterations or rehabilitation unless:
Such property has been included on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register;
Alterations or rehabilitation must be made for the purpose of historic preservation;
Such alterations or rehabilitation of historic property is approved by the Town of Woodstock Commission for Civic Design prior to commencement of work; and
Alterations or rehabilitation is commenced subsequent to the effective date of this article.
In addition to inclusion on the Town of Woodstock Historic Register, such exemption shall be granted only by application to the Assessor of the Town of Woodstock by the owner or owners of such historic real property on a form prescribed by the New York State Board of Real Property Services. The application shall be filed with the Assessor of the Town of Woodstock on or before the taxable status date of the Town of Woodstock.
The exemption provided herein shall be granted where the Assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to the provisions of this article. Upon approval by the Assessor, such real property shall be exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies as provided herein, commencing with the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the taxable status date.