[Adopted 6-10-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of § 457 of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York to grant a partial exemption from taxation to certain first-time home buyers of newly constructed or certain reconstructed homes, in order to promote home ownership by persons of moderate income, which will in turn create a positive climate for economic growth and attract future homeowners who might otherwise opt to live elsewhere.
For purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section:
- FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER
- A person who has not owned a primary residential property and is not married to a person who has owned a residential property during the three-year period prior to his or her purchase of the primary residential property, and who does not own a vacation or investment home.
- HOUSEHOLD INCOME
- The total combined income of all the owners, and of any owners' spouses residing on the premises, for the income tax year preceding the date of making application for the exemption.
- The "adjusted gross income" for federal income tax purposes as reported on the applicant's latest available federal and state income tax returns, subject to any subsequent amendments or revisions; reduced by distributions, to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income, received from an individual retirement account and an individual retirement annuity, provided that, if no such return was filed within the one-year period preceding taxable status date, "income" shall mean the adjusted gross income that would have been so reported if such a return had been filed. For purposes of this definition, "latest available return" shall mean the federal or state income tax return for the year immediately preceding the date of making application; provided, however, that if the tax return for such tax year has not been filed, then the income tax return for the tax year two years preceding the date of making application shall be considered the latest available.
- NEWLY CONSTRUCTED
- An improvement to real property which was constructed as a primary residential property and which has never been occupied and was constructed after November 28, 2001. "Newly constructed" shall also mean that portion of a primary residential property that is altered, improved or reconstructed.
- PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any one- or two-family house, townhouse or condominium located in the Town of Busti, outside the Village of Lakewood, which is owner-occupied by such home buyer.
- RECONSTRUCTION, ALTERATION and IMPROVEMENT
- Shall not include ordinary maintenance and repairs.
Newly constructed primary residential property purchased by one or more persons, each of whom is a first-time home buyer and has not been married to a homeowner in the three years prior to applying for this first-time homeowners' exemption, shall be exempt from taxation levied by the Town of Busti. Such exemption shall be computed in accordance with the following table:
Purchase price, value and income limits.
Any newly constructed primary residential real property with a purchase price within the purchase price limits defined by the State of New York mortgage agency low-interest rate mortgage program in the non-target, one-family new category for Chautauqua County and in effect on the contract date for the purchase and sale of such property, shall be eligible for the exemption allowed pursuant to this section.
A first-time home buyer who either as part of the written contract for sale of the primary residential property or who enters into a written contract within 90 days after closing of the sale of the primary residence for reconstruction, alteration or improvements, the value of which exceeds $3,000, to the primary residential property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent provided by this article. Such exemption shall apply solely to the increase in assessed value thereof attributable to such reconstruction, alteration or improvement, provided that the assessed value after reconstruction, alteration or improvements does not exceed 15% more than the purchase price limits as defined in Subsection B(1) of this section.
A first-time home buyer shall not qualify for the exemption authorized pursuant to this article if the household income exceeds income limits defined by the State of New York mortgage agency low-interest rate mortgage program in the non-target, one- and two-person household category for Chautauqua County and in effect on the contract date for the purchase and sale of such property.
Newly constructed primary residential property purchased by first-time home buyers at a sales price greater than the maximum eligible sales price shall qualify for the exemption allowed pursuant to this article for that portion of the sales price of such newly constructed primary residential property equal to the maximum eligible sales price; provided, however, that any newly constructed primary residential property purchased at a sales price greater than 15% above the maximum eligible sales price shall not be allowed any exemption.
No exemption shall be allowed pursuant to this article for any newly constructed primary residential property purchased by a first-time home buyer on or after December 31, 2005, unless such purchase is pursuant to a binding written contract entered into prior to December 31, 2005; provided, however, that any first-time home buyer who is allowed an exemption pursuant to this section prior to such date shall continue to be allowed further exemptions pursuant to Subsection A of this section.
Discontinuance of exemption.
No portion of a single-family newly constructed primary residential property shall be leased during the period of time when the first-time homeowner exemption shall apply to the residence. If any portion of the single-family newly constructed primary residential property is found to be the subject of a lease agreement, the Assessor shall discontinue any exemption granted pursuant to this article.
In the event that a primary residential property granted an exemption pursuant to this article ceases to be used primarily for residential purposes or title thereto is transferred to other than the heirs or distributees of the owner, the exemption granted pursuant to this article shall be discontinued.
Upon determining that an exemption granted pursuant to this article should be discontinued, the Assessor shall mail a notice so stating to the owner or owners thereof at the time and in the manner provided by § 510 of the Real Property Tax Law. Such owner or owners shall be entitled to seek administrative and judicial review of such action in the manner provided by law, provided that the burden shall be on such owner or owners to establish eligibility for the exemption.
Such exemption shall be granted only upon application by the owner of such building on a form prescribed by the New York State Board of Real Property Tax Services. The application shall be filed with the Town Assessor before the Town's taxable status date (March 1).
If satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to this article, the Assessor shall approve the application, and such primary residential property shall thereafter be exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies as provided in this section commencing with the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the taxable status date referred to in Subsection F of this section. The assessed value of any exemption granted pursuant to this article shall be entered by the Assessor on the assessment roll with the taxable property, with the amount of the exemption shown in a separate column.
The making of any willful false statement in the application for an exemption under this article shall be a violation thereof, and a conviction for any such violation shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.