LAKE GEORGE — The village is moving forward with a few new initiatives geared at making it more business-friendly, including a tax credit for business owners who make improvements to their properties.
Under the proposed credit program, business owners who make at least a $50,000 investment to upgrade their property, would receive a tax exemption on the improvements over a 10-year period.
“This is in line with communities around us,” Lake George Mayor Robert Blais said at a special meeting late last week. “This is supposed to encourage new buildings, renovations and improvements.”
The exemption would be for 50 percent of the improvements in the first year, and would depreciate by 5 percent each year over a decade, and would be 5 percent in the final year.
Implementing the measure would require amending the village code of taxation, and a public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 20 on the proposed exemption.
The village has a similar tax rebate program on the books currently, but that starts at 25 percent rather than 50 percent.
For large-scale projects, the measure could potentially save developers tens of thousands of dollars if they decide to take advantage of it.
One example officials have discussed is a large chain hotel developer Dave Kenny has proposed for Canada Street, south of the high school.
“That would be a considerable amount of money,” Deputy Mayor John Earl said of the potential savings that could be reaped from the exemption.
In addition to the proposed exemption, village officials are considering rezoning the village to allow for up to six story buildings in some areas, and incorporating into village zoning a set of stricter design standards that will govern how future development in the village will look. Village officials are also taking bids from firms to complete a marketing study, and looking into creating a business improvement district and local development corporation.
The Village Board will appoint at its annual meeting a steering committee that will meet periodically in the coming year about the creation of the special taxing district that would fund special events and improvements in the village’s commercial district.
Village officials have also been considering a local development corporation, and Blais said he planned to ask Glens Falls Economic/Community Development Director Ed Bartholomew to meet with the Village Board in the future and answer their questions about LDCs.