Weekly Feature

2015-12-09 / Front Page

Village passes partial tax exemption for businesses

by MARY BEST Editor

The Kenmore Village Board has taken steps to follow those of the Ken-Ton Board of Education to potentially ease the transition of two soon-to-be closed school buildings.

At its Dec. 1 meeting, the board approved a local law allowing for a partial exemption from real property taxes that would be extended to nonresidential property converted to a mix of residential and commercial uses.

Village Clerk Kathleen Johnson said applicants will be able to apply for the exemption, which would allow them to get relief from tax liability based on the amount of improvement made on a property, as long as it is mixed use.

“Basically, the property would continue to be assessed at the current level. Then, once the renovations are completed, rather than be taxed immediately on the new assessed evaluation, that additional amount of value gets an exemption,” Johnson said.

The exemption starts at a 100 percent exemption on the new assessed value and gradually transitions incrementally to a 100 percent taxation at the end of 12 years.

Locally, this would most immediately benefit the Roosevelt Elementary and Kenmore Middle schools that will be closing in June. Johnson said the law was passed in consideration of the closings, which the village wanted to be proactive about.

“It kind of was done in conjunction with what we passed last year, which was legislation for planned unit developments,” Johnson said. “In fact, the Washington School is an example of the [planned unit development] legislation put to use.”

The law was also designed to encourage developers to look at Kenmore to help them recoup their initial investment costs on the building over the initial 12-year period, she said.

In addition to the schools, Johnson said, the law applies to any vacant building in the village that a developer would be looking to repurpose. It’s not an automatic given to any property, however, as the developer would have to apply for it with the Assessor’s Office prior to March 1 in order for it to apply to the coming tax year.

Johnson said that looking into the future the village was hoping it might entice developers to consider Kenmore as a place to bring their business.

“We see Kenmore as a wonderful place for businesses to set up,” Johnson said. “By making it more tax-friendly for them and in conjunction with our planned unit development law, we’re hopeful that it will encourage people to look at Kenmore as a great place to develop property.”

Since the School Board passed it in November, the only other municipality that could pass a resolution is the Town Board.

During the work session that preceded the meeting, Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer expressed his concern about the volume of reported thefts of various items people leave in their cars, which are often unlocked when the items are stolen.

“Residents [have to] lock their car and stop leaving stuff in it because they’re targets,” Breitnauer said. “Lock your doors, windows and cars.”

In other action, Mayor Patrick Mang and Trustees Katherine Bestine and Timothy McCarthy were all sworn in for another four-year term. Johnson was also sworn in as village clerk and treasurer

The board will next meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, 2919 Delaware Ave., Kenmore.

email: mbest@beenews.com

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