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April 20, 2017 - 7:57pm

Village of Bergen to offer tax break on home improvements

posted by Howard B. Owens in bergen, news.

Homeowners in the Village of Bergen may soon be eligible for the same kind of property tax relief on home improvements available now in the City of Batavia and Village of Le Roy.

The tax exemption program works much like the PILOTs (payment in lieu of taxes) awarded to some business expansions by Genesee County Economic Development Center. People who add a room to their house, for example, would get a break on property taxes from the increase in assessed value.

The original tax bill on the original assessment remains the same, but there is a period where the homeowner would pay no taxes on the increase in assessed value for two years, and then pay a portion of the taxes due on the assessed value each year through year nine, when they would be paying 100 percent of the taxes due on the increase in assessed value.

The plan needs the approval not just of the Village of Bergen trustees, but also the Byron-Bergen Central School District and the County Legislature.

Assistant County Treasurer Kevin Andrews presented the proposed resolution to members of the Ways and Means Committee yesterday, which recommended passage of the resolution.

To be eligible, the homeowner would need to make an improvement to the structure that increases the assessed value at least $5,000. If the assessment went up more than $80,000, any additional increase in assessed value would not be covered.

Only single-family homes and duplexes are eligible.

The homeowner must also spend at least $3,000 on the improvement.

Maintenance projects, such as roof replacement, are not covered.

Andrews noted that since 2012, when the City of Batavia enacted its exemption program, there have been four applications in the city with an increase in assessed value covered of $50,000.

The Village of Le Roy approved its program in 2015 and no homeowners there have yet applied for the exemption.

He said he's been told there is so far one homeowner in Bergen who has expressed interest in applying once the program is approved.

Only projects started after the ordinance is enacted are eligible for the exemption.

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