[Adopted 12-5-1994 by L.L. No. 10-1994; amended in its entirety 5-15-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
The purpose of this article is to afford and provide a partial exemption from general municipal taxes for property located within a designated Empire Zone (EZ) within the City of Albany and in accordance with § 485-e of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York (RPTL). This article shall expire 10 years from its date of passage.
Pursuant to § 485-e of the RPTL, real property that is located in a designated EZ and is constructed or improved after the zone is designated shall be partially exempt from taxation and special ad valorem taxes, for a term of ten years, notwithstanding that the designation of the zone may expire prior to the end of such ten-year term. The property shall remain liable for special assessments. The amount of the exemption shall be limited to a percentage of the increase in assessed value attributable to the construction or improvement to the property as determined in the first year of exemption.
The amount of such exemption in the first seven years of its term shall be 100% of the "base amount," determined pursuant to Subsection B(1) of this section. The amount of the exemption in the eighth, ninth, and tenth years of its term shall be 75%, 50% and 25%, respectively, of such base amount. Said ten-year term begins in the first year that the application is made.
The base amount of the exemption shall be the extent of the increase in assessed value attributable to such construction, alteration, installation or improvement as determined in the initial year for which application for exemption is made pursuant to this section. The base amount shall remain constant for the authorized term of the exemption, subject to the following:
If there is subsequent construction, alteration, installation or improvement during the term of the exemption, the base amount shall be revised to include the increase in assessed value attributable to such construction, alteration, installation or improvement.
If a change in level of assessment of 15% or more is certified for an assessment roll pursuant to the rules of the State Board, the base amount shall be adjusted by such change in level of assessment. The exemption on that assessment roll shall thereupon be recomputed, notwithstanding the fact that the Assessor receives the certification after the completion, verification and filing of the final assessment roll. In the event the Assessor does not have custody of the roll when such certification is received, the Assessor shall certify the recomputed exemption to the local officers having custody and control of the roll, and such local officers are hereby directed and authorized to enter the recomputed exemption certified by the Assessor on the roll.
No such exemption shall be granted unless, pursuant to Article 18-B of the General Municipal Law:
Notice of the designation of the empire zone has been filed with the clerk of the assessing unit by the Commissioner on or before the applicable taxable status date;
The construction, alteration, installation or improvement commenced on or after the date the empire zone was designated; and
The designation of the empire zone has not ended and has not been terminated by the Commissioner on or before the applicable taxable status date.
For purposes of this section the terms "construction," "alteration," "installation" and "improvement" shall not include ordinary maintenance and repairs.
If the designation of the EZ is terminated, an exemption in effect prior to the termination continues for its original term; however, any further increase in assessed value attributable to new construction or improvements after the date of termination is not eligible for exemption.
This exemption may not be granted concurrent with or subsequent to any other property tax exemption with respect to the same improvements, except that a subsequent exemption may be granted where, during the period of a previous exemption, payments in lieu of taxes or other payments were made to a local government in an amount equal to or greater than the amount of taxes that would have been paid on the improvements had the property been granted an exemption pursuant to RPTL § 485-e. In that case, the property may be eligible for a § 485-e exemption for a period of up to 10 years less the number of years such payments to the local government were made.
Application for the exemption authorized herein shall be made to the Assessor of the City of Albany and made within one year of the date of the completion of the project.