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Ceretto-sponsored bill would 'land' Niagara County $$$

by jmaloni
Wed, Apr 6th 2011 01:10 pm

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, is sponsoring legislation that would return state lands that are currently receiving property-tax exemptions back onto Niagara County's tax rolls. Ceretto says this legislation would provide extra revenue to the county while easing the local property-tax burden. 

"In the city of Niagara Falls alone, 60 percent of the land is exempt from local property taxes, with the state owning or maintaining the lion's share of these properties," said Ceretto. "Its tax-free status shifts the burden to local taxpayers and deprives local municipalities of much-needed revenues. My legislation would put these properties back on the city and county's tax rolls in order to bring in more revenue." 

Information obtained from local assessor offices shows that local municipalities would receive a windfall if the state lands were put back on the local tax rolls:

•Niagara Falls State Park (assessed value $49,753,000) would provide $2,916,520 in revenue each year to local municipalities

•Whirlpool State Park/Niagara Falls (assessed value $3,300,000) would provide $193,446 in revenue each year to local municipalities

•Fort Niagara State Park/Town of Porter (assessed value $1,200,000) would provide $43,068 in revenue each year to local municipalities

•Wilson Tuscarora State Park/Town of Wilson (assessed value $1,401,000) would provide $52,033 in revenue each year to local municipalities

Ceretto noted that there are several examples of where state-owned land is subject to real-property taxation across the state. Currently, state parklands in Rockland, Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties are subject to local property taxes, as well as land in the City of Rochester and towns of Monroe, Warwick, Cornwall, Highland, Tuxedo, Woodbury, Shawangunk and Wawarsing. 

"Albany has consistently piled numerous unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts, leading to skyrocketing property taxes, while the state enjoys tax-exempt status from local property taxes," Ceretto said. "My legislation will right this wrong and, more importantly, provide needed relief to taxpayers while raising revenues to help pay for local services."

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, is sponsoring legislation that would return state lands that are currently receiving property-tax exemptions back onto Niagara County's tax rolls. Ceretto says this legislation would provide extra revenue to the county while easing the local property-tax burden. 

"In the city of Niagara Falls alone, 60 percent of the land is exempt from local property taxes, with the state owning or maintaining the lion's share of these properties," said Ceretto. "Its tax-free status shifts the burden to local taxpayers and deprives local municipalities of much-needed revenues. My legislation would put these properties back on the city and county's tax rolls in order to bring in more revenue." 

Information obtained from local assessor offices shows that local municipalities would receive a windfall if the state lands were put back on the local tax rolls:

  • Niagara Falls State Park (assessed value $49,753,000) would provide $2,916,520 in revenue each year to local municipalities;
  • Whirlpool State Park/Niagara Falls (assessed value $3,300,000) would provide $193,446 in revenue each year to local municipalities
  • Fort Niagara State Park/Town of Porter (assessed value $1,200,000) would provide $43,068 in revenue each year to local municipalities;
  • Wilson Tuscarora State Park/Town of Wilson (assessed value $1,401,000) would provide $52,033 in revenue each year to local municipalities.

Ceretto noted that there are several examples of where state-owned land is subject to real-property taxation across the state. Currently, state parklands in Rockland, Sullivan, Orange and Ulster counties are subject to local property taxes, as well as land in the towns of Monroe, Warwick, Cornwall, Highland, Tuxedo, Woodbury, Rochester, Shawangunk and Wawarsing. 

"Albany has consistently piled numerous unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts, leading to skyrocketing property taxes, while the state enjoys tax-exempt status from local property taxes," Ceretto said. "My legislation will right this wrong and, more importantly, provide needed relief to taxpayers while raising revenues to help pay for local services."

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