While famous for its gorges and its Ivy-league college, Cornell University, Ithaca has recently experienced a problem many cities have faced over the course of the 21st century: as time has passed, rent has increased even as the downtown area has faltered. Residents have complained that storefronts are empty, buildings are neglected, and living costs have skyrocketed abruptly. To revitalize the area and offset these rising prices, city officials and business owners are considering creating a tax break for a planned $4.6 million apartment building. If successful, the builder would be exempt from local and state taxes on construction materials, equipment and furnishings, as well as a state tax on mortgage recording.
While the tax abatement is still being discussed, it has already drawn criticism from residents who claim that it unfairly benefits wealthy landlords and developers. Others have argued that the project’s site deserves environmental protection. However, one city official has pointed out that the building itself could significantly decrease rent prices in the area by increasing the number of available units. This would help more people in Ithaca find an apartment they can afford, allowing them to access a number of benefits of renting, from tax breaks to decreased maintenance responsibility. Is there a similar project occurring in your area? Check your local apartment listings to find out. Learn more.
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