Ulster County gets a few new breaks on property taxes

Above: Ulster County executive Mike Hein signing five new property tax exemptions into law. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Ulster County Executive.

On Monday, July 9, Ulster County executive Mike Hein signed five new property tax exemptions into law. The new exemptions will mean tax breaks for first-time homebuyers, veterans, seniors, and disabled people in Ulster County.

Under the new exemptions, first-time homebuyers will receive a 50 percent county property tax exemption in the first year after their home purchase, and decreasing exemptions for the first five years. Greater numbers of senior citizens, and the disabled will now qualify for exemptions, because the county has raised the maximum income limit for the tax exemptions for these groups. Also, the exemptions available to veterans have been increased to 15 percent, the maximum allowed under state law.

A press release from the Office of the Ulster County Executive:

Kingston, NY - Today Ulster County Executive Mike Hein signed into law the five tax exemptions which are the real property tax initiatives he introduced in March. In addition to his ongoing efforts to protect all taxpayers, these exemptions will assist first time homebuyers, Veterans, Cold War Veterans, seniors and disabled Ulster County residents. The County Executive’s initiatives were overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature.

County Executive Hein said, “The exemptions for our Veterans, seniors and disabled community members are extremely important. Additionally, by passing this new exemption for first time homebuyers, Ulster County has created an amazing incentive for the purchase of newly constructed homes and the renovation of homes.” The County Executive continued, “First time homebuyers tend to be young entry-level people or hard-pressed, hard-working families and it is my great hope that this legislation will assist them in achieving the American dream of homeownership. The attraction of new residents to our County is designed to strengthen our local communities and help our economy. Home construction has a tremendous impact on our economy by not only creating construction jobs, but also by generating demand for furnishings, appliances and other durable goods.”

Among the goals of the First Time Homebuyer Exemption is to attract young people and working families to Ulster County and to stimulate the local economy. The new law allows eligible homebuyers to claim a 50% exemption in the first year of ownership and annually decreases to 10% in the fifth and final year. The home must be the purchasers’ primary residence and the property and homebuyers must meet certain SONYMA (State of New York Mortgage Agency) eligibility criteria.

The County Executive also signed the four other local laws which amend existing real property tax exemptions. More senior citizens and disabled Ulster County residents will now be able to claim exemptions, as the maximum allowable income limits for eligibility have been increased. Veterans and “Cold War” Veterans will enjoy increased exemption limits, which have been raised to the maximums allowable under state law.

Don Gregorius, Vice Chairman of the Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee said, “It should be our goal to foster home ownership amongst all Ulster County residents. Today we have removed some of the burden faced by first time homebuyers and we have recognized our responsibility towards Veterans, seniors and the disabled.”

Dave Donaldson, Vice Chairman of the Legislature’s Legislative Programs Committee said, “The fact that this entire real property tax initiative passed the Legislature, and by such an overwhelming majority, demonstrates it’s good, solid policy. Not only are we helping our neighbors with tax exemptions, we are helping ourselves by boosting the local economy.”

County Executive Hein added, “I want to recognize the County Legislature for passing my real property tax initiative in its entirety, and by an overwhelming majority.”