Story by Eli Ruiz
NARROWSBURG November 5, 2013 Supervisor Charlie Barbuti is tired of younger residents leaving the Town and Village of Liberty for greener, and less taxing, Sullivan County pastures. Liberty, after all, has one of the, if not the highest, tax rates in the county.
“I wanted to do something about that,” said Barbuti. “I wanted to save people some money and attract new home buyers to Liberty.”
Barbuti couldn’t just unilaterally lower Liberty’s tax rate, so he did some research.
“I found this abatement passed by the state that allowed municipalities to do this,” he related.
By “this,” Barbuti means the new five-year tax exemption the town is now offering new home buyers.
Under the plan, extended to only first-time buyers of newly-constructed homes, qualified applicants will see a savings of 50 percent on their real property tax in their first year of home ownership. The savings drops to 40 percent in the second year, 30 percent in the third and so on, until in the fifth and final year of the plan, the savings stands at 10 percent.
But it’s not just property tax you’ll be saving on in Liberty.
“I looked at the proposal the [town] board passed and I thought it was fine… but it just wasn’t enough in my eyes,” explained Barbuti.
So Barbuti brought his proposal to the Liberty School District, who to his delight, opted in on the plan. Barbuti scored a trifecta when the Village of Liberty also jumped on board.
“If you’re paying taxes on $100,000 that’s $1,000,” said Barbuti. “The school tax could be around $3,000. So with this plan your getting not just the 50 percent on your town property tax, you’re getting it on your school and village taxes as well.”
For more information on Liberty’s new tax abatement plan go to www.townofliberty.org. New home buyers interested in applying for the new tax exemption are encouraged to drop by the Town Assessor’s office at Town Hall on 120 North Main Street.