Public hearing set on proposed partial property tax exemption

MAYVILLE — The partial real property tax exemption could be changed to include more of the elderly population who have a home and are on a fixed income.

Last week, legislators on the Administrative Services Committee approved to establish a public hearing on a proposal to increase income limits for a partial real property tax exemption for seniors. The hearing is scheduled for Oct 25. at 2:05 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.

Since 2012, Chautauqua County has offered a partial real property tax exemption to senior citizen homeowners whose incomes do not exceed $20,000.

Under a proposal brought forth by County Executive Vince Horrigan, the income limit would increase to $22,000 effective the next taxable status date, if the full legislature give its approval.

Jim Caflisch, county real property tax director, said it’s a 50 percent exemption for seniors who fall within the income limit. He said there’s 756 exemptions in the county. He said it’s hard to estimate how many more would be eligible if the income limit was raised.

“We are pretty much in line with all the rest of counties in Western New York as far as the exemption limit,” he said.

Legislator Lisa Vanstrom, R-West Ellicott, said the proposal will help the county’s most important citizens who are living on a fixed-income.

“I hope this endeavor will help them manage other bills and things (that) there is no assistance for,” she said.