Assemblyman Englebright and Senator LaValle Announce Continuation of First-Time Home Buyer Program

Real property tax break for 1st time home buyers of newly constructed homes
July 28, 2017

Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and Senator Ken LaValle (R,C,I-Port Jefferson) announced today that legislation they sponsored to allow municipalities to continue the tax exemption for first-time home buyers of newly constructed homes passed unanimously in the New York State Legislature and has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

“Young, working families have a hard time trying to meet the costs associated with the purchase of their first home. This legislation will make it easier for families to move from renter to homeowner,” said Englebright. “Owning a home is an incredible goal, and I’m honored to be able to help New Yorkers reach that goal along with Senator LaValle.”

Senator LaValle said, “This Law helps to ease some of the financial strain that first-time homebuyers face, and enables them to make their dream a reality. By extending this real property tax exemption, we continue to work to make Long Island more affordable for our residents.”

The law allows local governments to grant first-time home buyers of newly constructed homes a five-year property tax exemption, starting at 50 percent in the first year and decreasing at a rate of 10 percent per year over the next four years.

The temporary tax abatement would allow buyers, who may otherwise be unable to enter the housing market, an opportunity to purchase their first home. The exemption would apply to a newly constructed primary residence or the increase in the assessed value of a primary residential property which was the direct result of alterations, improvements or reconstruction exceeding $3,000.

Under this measure, home value and income limitations would be defined by the New York State Mortgage Agency Low Interest Rate Mortgage Program (SONYMA) in effect on the contract date. The law will permit the limits to rise automatically with new SONYMA purchase price and income limits. For Suffolk County, the income limits are $132,960. The purchase price limit is $585,710.

Suffolk and Nassau counties have authorized the tax incentive, and it is currently applied in Brookhaven, Smithtown, Southampton, Hempstead, Huntington, Babylon, Islip and Riverhead. Additionally, many school districts have “opted in” to provide the exemption, including Farmingdale and Copiague. Other counties that have authorized the credit are Niagara, Allegany, Oswego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Orange, Oneida, Ulster, Rensselaer, and Albany.

“New York State has a number of high cost areas, Long Island among them. Housing in these communities is often beyond the reach of working families and for too long, many of these families have had to leave those areas in order to be able to afford their first home. This legislation will continue to provide meaningful financial relief,” said Englebright. “This will help those hardworking families obtain the American dream of home ownership.”