The following is a brief description of property tax exemptions available to commercial (Non-Homestead) property owners in the City of Rochester.
Please note, if the owner resides on the property as the primary residence, review the Residential Property Exemptions that may also apply.
You must apply for any exemption for which you may be eligible by February 1st.
For information and instructions, call the Bureau of Assessment exemption hotline at (585) 428-6994 or stop by the office at City Hall, 30 Church St., Room 101A. For a detailed online explanation, go to the Links page for NYS ORPTS' descriptions of exemptions.
Conversion Urban Exemption Program (CUE) for Center City Living (485-a)
To encourage the conversion of underutilized office, retail, manufacturing and warehouse buildings to residential use. The CUE is restricted to mixed-use (residential commercial) conversion projects. The 12 year exemption applies to the increase in assessed value from the conversion to mixed-use. The exemption is 100% for the first 8 years and declines 20% per year thereafter. A minimum of 25% of space must be developed as residential and the owner must at minimum invest $250,000 in the conversion project. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City, School and County Taxes.) Click here for an application.
Business Investment Exemption (485-b)
For construction, alteration or improvement of commercial or industrial property. The cost of the improvements must be at least $10,000. Expenditures for maintenance do not qualify. The exemption applies to a resultant increase in assessed value due to the improvements. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City, School and County Taxes.) Click here for forms, instructions and additional information.
Core Housing Owner Incentive Exemption (CHOICE)
For the creation of market-rate / owner-occupied residential units in the Center City District. The program is implemented through a COMIDA Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreement and a sale leaseback arrangement, as well a sales tax exemption on construction materials and a mortgage tax exemption. The assessment exemption applies to the increase of Assessments due to the construction, renovation or conversion that creates owner/occupied residential units. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City, School and County Taxes.) Click here for forms, instructions and additional information.
Historic Improvement Exemption
An exemption on the increased assessed value due to alteration or improvements approved by the Historic Preservation Board. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City and School Taxes only.) Click here for an application.
Religious, Educational, Charitable, Hospital, and Other Nonprofit
Property must be owned by the nonprofit organization seeking the exemption. It cannot be owned by individuals, profit-making corporations, or other non-exempt groups. The property must be used for tax exempt purposes. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City, School and County Taxes.) Click here for an application.
Solar, Wind and Farm Waste Energy Systems Exemption (487)
An exemption for property that contains a solar, wind, or farm waste energy system meeting the requirements approved by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority. This exempts for 15 years any increase in value attributed to the energy production of the system and not for other dual uses such as living space. This applies in general to systems constructed since 1990. Submit the application by February 1st. (Applies to City, School, & County Taxes.) For more details on the technical specifications and eligible construction dates click here. For the application click here.