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Sept. 7 BOE meeting to include town conservation easement presentation

Filed in Archive by on August 15, 2016

On Sept. 7, 2016 the Bethlehem Central School District Board of Education will welcome representatives from the Town of Bethlehem who are requesting the Board to authorize a conservation easement exemption that could provide partial school tax exemptions for eligible owners of undeveloped land. With an approved conservation easement, a reduction in property taxes would be granted in exchange for a commitment by property owners within the Town of Bethlehem to preserve undeveloped land for a minimum of 15 years.

The Town of Bethlehem conservation easement was approved by the State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor Cuomo in 2014. The Town Board approved the easement for municipal taxes, but overlapping school districts (Bethlehem, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, and Guilderland) must opt in to allow the exemption on school taxes.

If the school board were to grant the conservation easement, Bethlehem landowners would have to qualify, apply, be approved by both the Conservation Easement Board and the Town Board, and file a deed restriction easement with Albany County in order to receive the savings. If authorized by the school board, the agreement would be structured so that New Scotland residents would not absorb any share of the exemptions potentially granted in Bethlehem.

District residents are invited to learn more about the proposed conservation easement at the Sept. 7 Board of Education meeting which will take place at 7 p.m. in the Library Media Center, Bethlehem Central High School, 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054.