[Adopted 6-18-2002 by Res. No. 15]
Editor's Note: This local law superseded the previous first-time homebuyers tax exemption adopted 2-26-2002 by L.L. No. 2-2002.
Pursuant to § 457 of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Babylon, after due consideration, has provided for a partial real property tax exemption for qualified first-time homeowners as specified below.
Subject to the qualifications and regulation set forth herein, a partial exemption from real property taxes is hereby granted to qualified first-time homebuyers of primary residential property within the Town of Babylon.
Newly constructed primary residential property purchased by one or more persons, each of whom is a first-time homebuyer 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 on behalf of the Town of Babylon, such exemption to be for a period of five years, computed as follows:
Any newly constructed primary residential real property within the purchase price limits as defined on January 1, 2001, by the State of New York Mortgage Agency low-interest rate mortgage program in the non-target, one-family new category for Suffolk County, increased by 25%, shall be eligible for the exemption allowed pursuant to this section.
A first-time homebuyer 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 three thousand dollars, to the primary residential property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent provided by this section. 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 (1) of this subsection. For the purposes of this section, the terms "reconstruction," "alteration" and "improvement" shall not include ordinary maintenance and repairs.
A first-time homebuyer shall not qualify for the exemption authorized pursuant to this section if the household income exceeds income limits as defined on January 1, 2006, by the State of New York Mortgage Agency low-interest rate mortgage program in the nontarget one- and two-person household category for Suffolk County.
[Amended 12-20-2006 by Res. No. 6]
The term "household income" as used herein shall mean 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 term "income" as used herein shall mean the adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes as reported on the applicant's latest available federal or state income tax return 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 the purposes of this subsection, "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 year has not been filed, then the income tax returns for the tax year two years preceding the date of making application shall be considered the latest available.
Newly constructed primary residential property purchased by first-time homebuyers at a sales price greater than the maximum eligible sales price shall qualify for the exemption allowed pursuant to this section 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 that 15% above the maximum eligible sales price shall not be allowed any exemption.
No exemption shall be allowed pursuant to this section for any newly constructed primary residential property purchased by a first-time homebuyer on or after December 31, 2022, unless such purchase is pursuant to a binding written contract entered into prior to December 31, 2022; provided, however that any first-time homebuyer who is allowed an exemption pursuant to this section prior to such date shall continue to be allowed further exemptions pursuant to Subsection B of this section.
[Amended 12-20-2006 by Res. No. 6; 9-13-2011 by L.L. No. 17-2011; 3-1-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017; 12-5-2018 by L.L. No. 22-2018]
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 section.
In the event that a primary residential property granted an exemption pursuant to this section 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 in Real Property Tax Law § 510. 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 State Board. The application shall be filed with Town Assessor on or before March 1, the taxable status date.
If satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an exemption pursuant to this section, 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 G of this section. The assessed value of any exemption granted pursuant to this section 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.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER
- 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.
- PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Any one- or two-family house, townhouse or condominium located in this state which is owner-occupied by such homebuyer.
- 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 the effective date of this section. "Newly constructed" shall also mean that portion of a primary residential property that is altered, improved or reconstructed.
This exemption shall apply to taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2002.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or other part of this article shall for any reason be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of this article, and it shall be construed to have been the legislative intent to enact this article without such unconstitutional or invalid parts therein.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing in the Office of the Secretary of State of New York.