Cobleskill sets hearing on tax abatements

By Patsy Nicosia

The Town of Cobleskill is taking a look at signing on to a pair of tax abatements approved by the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors in February.
The first would grant first-time homebuyers tax breaks for five years on new construction or re-construction.
The second would offer breaks on up to $80,000 for home improvements for eight years.
A law allowing the abatements has been on the books in New York State for about the past 10 years, but individual municipalities must vote to implement then.
Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone championed the effort at the county level as a way to draw in new families, especially in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
But opponents-Cobleskill Supervisor Leo McAllister among them-have countered that someone will end up making up the difference and have said that the income requirements required for participation are unfair.
Mr. McAllister voted against the tax breaks at the county level, but said Monday he wants to hear what town residents think of the idea.
Cobleskill will hold a public hearing on the abatements at 8pm at the Monday, April 14 meeting.
Also Monday, the town discussed zoning changes that would allow townhouses, row houses, and condominiums in the B-2 zone by special use permit.
The proposed changes came from the Planning Board, which believes the availability of water and sewer along Route 7 east will create more interest in housing not necessarily right off the highway, but farther back off it on some of the larger pieces of property.
"The village is full-up as far as apartments go," Planning Board Chairman Andre Nadeau said, noting that the trailer park on Route 7 wants to expand-but can't because of the existing zoning.
"This brings them into compliance," Mr. Nadeau said.
Resident Gary Brady suggested waiting to let retail come into the corridor first and Maynard Meyers agreed that he'd rather see job growth.
"I think everyone wants to see that," Mr. McAllister said.

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