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Reporter's Notebook

May 31, 2014

Housing plan is on its way to Albany

State legislation regarding home rule in the city of Oneonta and tax exemption for investments in housing stock is on its way to the governor to be signed into law, according to Sen. James Seward, R-Milford.

Seward announced Thursday that a bill he sponsored authorizing the Common Council to provide tax exemptions for those investing in the city’s housing stock has passed the Senate.

“The City of Oneonta has a lot to offer and is experiencing a renaissance when it comes to housing,” Seward said in a media release. “Taking this legislative step will give the city another tool to build on this growing trend and help draw more families to the exceptional neighborhoods that define Oneonta.”

Companion legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, also passed in the Assembly on Thursday, Seward said.

The legislation will allow the city to provide property tax abatements to homeowners who convert multiple dwelling buildings to an owner-occupied single family home or two-unit home, the release said.

The city held a housing summit in 2012 and has been working since then to identify and promote avenues for upgrading housing stock and opportunities for home ownership and improvements. Identifying tax abatement programs and applying for home rule legislation were among steps taken.

“Oneonta greatly appreciates Senator Seward’s support of this beneficial initiative which is fully in-line with our comprehensive plan,” Mayor Dick Miller said in a prepared statement. “By encouraging renovations to downtown home stock for those who reside in the city and others who have investment properties we will add value to these properties for generations to come.”

Exemptions are limited regarding terms and amounts, focusing on the value added to the property, officials said previously, and exemptions wouldn’t reduce existing tax revenue.

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Some World War II veterans were recognized individually at Memorial Day ceremonies in the city of Oneonta.

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