When compared with the rest of suburban Rochester, I contend that Irondequoit’s housing stock is defined by its rich character. With the exception of a few subdivisions, most of the single-family homes in our town were built before 1970. It is what makes owning a home in Irondequoit unique.
Along with others, I see this as a strength; however, as is the case with any strength, it needs to be conditioned. Whether it is critical maintenance or an attempt to make an asset even more valuable and suitable to your living needs, the improvements we make to our homes have an overall positive impact on our community.
Like so many homeowners in Irondequoit, I am spending my weekends this summer giving home improvement an honest try. Hopefully, most homeowners in Irondequoit are more capable than I. Nonetheless, a remodel or addition on your home will likely ultimately increase the property’s value — this is a good thing. However, given property taxes are based on assessed value, one might argue that there is an inherent disincentive to putting work into one’s home, given its taxable value has increased.
With that paradox in mind, the town board recently looked at the existing Home Improvement Tax Exemption program, with is authorized by state law. First adopted by the town in 2000, this law exempts the increased assessed value brought on by reconstruction, alterations or improvements made to existing one or two family homes.
To make this exemption more attractive to homeowners, the town board recently amended the town code to provide the maximum exemption allowed by state law. This law applies only to your town taxes, but homeowners will not be able to apply for a five-year exemption on the increased value, which is phased out gradually.
The town board decided to amend this law with the hope that it would be utilized more. Indeed, while town taxes represent only a small share of your overall tax bill, I hate to see homeowners not take advantage of something which could result in a measurable reduction on town taxes, relative to what one would pay at full assessed value.
For more information on this exemption, please call our assessor’s office at 585-336-6055 or pay a visit at Town Hall. I will also note that a similar incentive exists for businesses in Irondequoit, and encourage you to call our development office at 585-336-6026, if interested.
Overall, I am grateful for those residents who continue to maintain and enhance our rich, distinctive housing stock. Irondequoit is a beautiful town, and I enjoy seeing homeowners take pride in helping to keep it that way.