OSWEGO – The Common Council approved two local laws Monday night that Mayor Billy Barlow hopes will encourage revitalization in the Port City’s business community as well as in the private sector.
Earlier this month, the mayor proposed to make permanent the City of Oswego Residential Home Improvement Tax Exemption, a tax break to encourage home improvement projects.
And, he also proposed a new local law that provides a similar tax exemption for businesses within the city of Oswego that improve, expand or renovate their property.
The Residential Home Improvement Tax Exemption encourages homeowners to invest in their property by temporarily exempting the value of the improvement project from being fully taxed for eight years, including a 100% exemption in the first year. To qualify for the exemption, a home must be at least five years old and the value of the improvement project must exceed $3,000.
The local law was first passed when Barlow was a member of the council.
Monday’s resolution makes it permanent.
The proposed Business Investment Tax Exemption requires a $10,000 improvement project and temporarily exempts the value of the improvement project from being fully taxed for 10 years.
The exemptions for each are based on a scale and go down each year of the pact, the mayor pointed out.
For the residential tax exemption, rates start at 100 percent the first year and wind up at 12.5 percent in year eight.
Business rates start at 50 percent in the first year and fall to 5 percent by year 10.
“We are trying to encourage participation,” the mayor said. “I encourage people to pick up an application and take advantage of it.”
Mayor Barlow has called on the county and the school district to adopt and make permanent both the Residential Home Improvement Tax Exemption and Business Investment Tax Exemption in an effort “to maximize the potential savings to those who wish to take advantage of the incentives.”
That way he explained, all three taxing entities in the city of Oswego will be consistent in providing these exemptions.
The local laws shall become effective upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.