Forms Available For City Housing Tax Abatement Program

Vince DeJoy, city development director, discussing the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive Redevelopment of Vacant and Condemned Properties program. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Forms are now available for the new housing program to incentivize the renovation of an abandoned house or to construct a new structure on a vacant lot.

On Monday, Vince DeJoy, city development director, said anyone interested in the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive Redevelopment of Vacant and Condemned Properties program can visit the city’s website at to view the application. Along with the program application, developers will also be asked to provide cost estimates and the scope of the renovation or new housing project. He said if a developer is interested in the program, they can also visit the development department at the Jamestown Municipal Building, located at 200 E. Third St., for assistance in starting their housing project. He also said, depending on the project scope, that federal Community Development Block Grant funds could be available for the developer.

To qualify for the tax abatement program the property must be within Jamestown’s city limits; the property must be an owner-occupied one or two-family residential property that is vacant or legally condemned and has several outstanding state or local building and fire code violations; total construction estimate must be $10,000 or greater; cost to remedy house must exceed value of property or be a new construction of a residence of no less than 1,200 square feet on a parcel upon which a prior structure was demolished; all construction and rehabilitation efforts must comply with state and local fire and building codes; the application and scope of work must be reviewed by the municipal housing code enforcement officer and the appropriate fire and building code enforcement officer; and the contractors, plumbers and electricians supplying cost estimates and quotes must be licensed to do business within the municipality.

The abatement covers 11 years, with zero percent for years one through three; 20 percent for years four and five; 40 percent for years six and seven; 60 percent for years eight and nine; 80 percent for years 10 and 11; and 100 percent starting year 12.

The idea for the program was suggested by Marie Carrubba, Jamestown City Council president, about two years ago after she had heard about a similar program approved in her native hometown of Batavia. At the time, Carrubba reached out to DeJoy about creating a program for Jamestown to assist developers in saving abandoned properties or creating new structures on vacant lots.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the new program won’t fix all of Jamestown’s housing problems, but the program, with just three to four houses being renovated annually, could save the city more than $100,000 annually because the average cost to demolish a property in the city is between $30,000-$40,000.