Public Hearing Set On Proposed Oswego Local Law

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council voted 5-0-2 Monday night to hold a public hearing at 7:10 p.m. on April 13 in regard to a local law on a tax exemption. Councilors Mike Todd and Ron Kaplewicz were absent.

The public hearing will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 13 W. Oneida St.

At last week’s committee meetings, Councilor Bill Barlow (Fifth Ward) proposed implementing a new local law that would give homeowners incentive to make capital improvements.

It would allow for the exemption from taxes: “that portion of an increase in assessment to residential buildings occurring as a result of capital improvement.”

The proposed local is very similar to what the county legislature approved earlier this month.

Legislator Amy Tresidder (16th District, Oswego) was at Monday night’s meeting and spoke in favor of the proposed local law.

“I am here, as a legislator, to speak in favor of Local Law number 3,” she told the councilors. “We have passed this on the legislative level and it is my hope that it will be picked up by the municipalities. It’s a great incentive for people to improve their homes without feeling they’ll be penalized.”

Currently, many people are hesitant to make improvements because they fear their assessment and taxes will go up, Barlow explained, the proposal encourages residents to invest in their homes and city overall.

The proposal speaks positively about the council and administration working together to improve the quality of life, housing stock “and really, show respect for the taxpayers,” Mayor Tom Gillen added.

“It gives them the ability to invest in their homes,” he said.

“Hopefully this will spur some growth, some long-term growth in the city; building from the inside out,” Barlow said.

Since the county has already opted into the program more city residents take advantage of the program as well, according to city assessor Susan Gentile Deary.

“So, we’ll see how it does this time. Maybe since the city has opted into it as well as the county, we may have a bit more popular response. It’ll maybe motivate people to make some improvements. It’s a good thing.”