senate Bill S4475

Establishes the real property tax relief and local government mandate reform act

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 06 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Summary

Establishes the real property tax relief and local government mandate reform act; limits real property tax levies; authorizes counties to levy a medicaid mandate real property tax; establishes a government employee benefit fee for local government; establishes a local government employee benefit fund.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4475
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Local Government
Law Section:
General Municipal Law
Laws Affected:
Add §3-c, Gen Muni L; add §92-o, St Fin L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4475

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general municipal law and the state finance
law,
in relation to establishing the real property tax relief and local
government mandate reform act

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill would permit a locality (by
means of local law), to establish and collect a non wage benefit
contribution fee, from all their government employees, equal to 5% of
an employee's salary. The proceeds of such fee would be deposited
into a state fund, under the joint custody of the comptroller and the
president of civil service. Disbursements from the fund would be paid
at the direction of the governing body of the municipal corporation,
or the president of civil service for the state, for any non wage
benefit cost incurred by such government.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - Creates the Title of the bill; "The Real Property Tax
Relief and Local Government Mandate Reform Act."

Section 2 - Legislative findings and declarations.

Section 3 - Adds §3-C to the General Municipal Law creating the
Government employment benefit fee for Local Governments, authorizing
counties, towns, cities and villages to implement a fee on local
government employees for the purposes of providing for the costs
incurred from any non-wage benefits for employees. Non-wage benefits
are defined to include health care, insurance, pension, parking, day
care, educational and other benefits up to 5% of the employee's gross
wages per pay period. Provides that the fees collected shall be
deposited into the government employee benefit fund, presided over by
the State Comptroller.

Section 4 - Adds §92-o to the State Finance Law creating the
Government employee benefit fund and the special accounts of New York
State and all local government entities that choose to opt-in to the
use of the fund by implementing the Government Employment benefit
fee. Directs the powers of the State Comptroller and President of
civil Service over the fund.

Section 5 - Sets the enacting date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Real Property Taxes in New York State are too high, and the burden
they place upon citizens, homeowners and businesses, is making it
difficult for New York State to thrive, prosper and succeed. The only
way to realistically reduce the real property tax burden upon our
citizens, homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive
approach in State law which controls costs and spending for local
governments, and provides significant mandate relief with respect to
their fiscal obligations. Real property tax relief and local
government mandate reform must be achieved by establishing a


comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes across
the state, the controlling government costs, and providing
significant mandate relief to local governments.

Health insurance costs have been one of the fastest growing components
of municipal budgets. For example, between 2002 and 2008, health
insurance expenses for cities and villages grew by 40% and 61%,
respectively.
Additionally, in many municipalities, the cost of retiree health
insurance exceeds the cost of health insurance for active employees.
In fact, a recent report of the Empire Center for New York State
Policy estimates that the total unfunded retiree health care
liability for New York's local governments and school districts
(including New York City) is $130.4 billion.

Municipalities are currently facing increases ranging from 25% to 40%
in pension contributions for 2011 and 2012, and the predictions for
2013 and beyond are just as ominous. According to a survey conducted
by the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), total pension
costs for cities are projected to rise from $203 million in 2010 to
$457 in 2015. A recent report by the Empire Center for New York State
Policy estimates that state and local employer contributions will
more than double over the next five years, adding nearly $4 billion
to annual taxpayer costs.

Public employers can no longer foot the bill for generous pension and
health insurance benefits. This legislation would provide a mechanism
to protect taxpayers by ensuring that all public employees contribute
toward the cost of their non-wage benefits, thereby giving municipal
employers the ability to fund essential public services.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4475

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              April 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government

AN ACT to amend the general municipal law and the state finance law,  in
  relation  to  establishing  the  real  property  tax  relief and local
  government mandate reform act

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "real prop-
erty tax relief and local government mandate reform act".
  S  2.  Legislative  findings and declarations.  The legislature hereby
finds and determines that real property taxes in New York state are  too
high,  and that the burden that they place upon our citizens, homeowners
and businesses, is making it difficult for New  York  state  to  thrive,
prosper and succeed.
  The  legislature  further  finds  and  determines that the only way to
realistically reduce the real property tax  burden  upon  our  citizens,
homeowners and businesses, is to place a comprehensive approach in state
law  which  controls  costs  and  spending  for  local  governments, and
provides significant mandate relief with respect to their  fiscal  obli-
gations.
  The legislature additionally finds and determines that a comprehensive
approach  of  capping  property taxes, controlling governmental employee
benefit costs, and providing significant mandate relief to local govern-
ments will promote the controlling of the cost and  spending  for  local
governments,  as  well  as helping to provide significant mandate relief
with respect to their future fiscal obligations.
  The legislature finally finds and determines that this act seeks to be
a part of a comprehensive approach to reduce real property taxes  across
the  state by controlling of governmental employee benefit costs and the
provision of significant mandate relief to local governments.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10713-01-1

S. 4475                             2

  S 3. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new section  3-c
to read as follows:
  S  3-C.   GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE. 1. EVERY COUNTY, TOWN, CITY
AND VILLAGE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED, BY LOCAL LAW OF THE GOVERNING BODY  OF
THE  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT,  TO ESTABLISH A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE.
SUCH FEE SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM EACH EMPLOYEE OF  THE  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT
WHO RECEIVES ANY NON-WAGE BENEFIT FROM THEIR EMPLOYMENT. FOR PURPOSES OF
THIS  SECTION, THE TERM NON-WAGE BENEFIT SHALL INCLUDE HEALTH CARE BENE-
FITS, INSURANCE BENEFITS, PENSION BENEFITS, PARKING BENEFITS,  DAY  CARE
BENEFITS, EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS OR ANY OTHER NON-WAGE BENEFIT PROVIDED TO
SUCH  PUBLIC  EMPLOYEE AS RECOGNIZED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE CIVIL
SERVICE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO REGULATION. SUCH FEE, WHICH SHALL  BE  IN
ADDITION TO ANY OTHER DEDUCTIONS OR FEES CURRENTLY ALLOWED BY LAW, SHALL
NOT  BE  IN  EXCESS  OF  FIVE PERCENT OF THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE'S GROSS
WAGES, AND SHALL BE DEDUCTED IN EQUAL AMOUNTS PER PAY PERIOD.
  2. IN THE EVENT THAT A LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZES  THE  ESTABLISHMENT
OF A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE, SUCH LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHALL NOTIFY
THE  STATE  COMPTROLLER  AND  THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE   CIVIL SERVICE
COMMISSION, IN WRITING, OF THE  ESTABLISHMENT  OF  SUCH  FEE.  UPON  THE
ESTABLISHMENT  OF SUCH FEE, COMMENCING ON THE FIRST OF JANUARY AFTER THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH FEE, AND THEN EVERY NINETY  DAYS  THEREAFTER,  THE
LOCAL  GOVERNMENT SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE QUARTERLY TRANSFER OF ALL MONIES
COLLECTED FROM SUCH FEE TO THE CUSTODY  OF  THE  STATE  COMPTROLLER  FOR
DEPOSIT  IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S SPECIAL ACCOUNT WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND, PURSUANT TO SECTION  NINETY-TWO-O  OF  THE  STATE
FINANCE  LAW.  THE  GOVERNING BODY OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, MAY BY LOCAL
LAW, ALSO TRANSFER ADDITIONAL MONIES, IN EXCESS OF THE MONIES  COLLECTED
FROM  THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE, TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER, FOR
DEPOSIT IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S SPECIAL ACCOUNT WITHIN THE  GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND.
  3.  A  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT  WHICH  HAS ESTABLISHED A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE
BENEFIT FEE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION,  AND  WHICH  HAS  TRANSFERRED  THE
MONIES  FROM  THE  COLLECTION  OF  SUCH FEE TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER FOR
DEPOSIT IN ITS SPECIAL ACCOUNT  WITHIN  THE  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT  EMPLOYEE
BENEFIT  FUND,  MAY  BY APPROPRIATION RESOLUTION, DIRECT THE STATE COMP-
TROLLER TO PAY SPECIFIED EMPLOYEE  BENEFIT  COSTS  TO  THE  PROVIDER  OR
PROVIDERS  OF  SUCH  NON-WAGE  EMPLOYEE  BENEFITS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
STATE COMPTROLLER MAKE ANY PAYMENT FROM  THE  SPECIAL  ACCOUNT,  IF  THE
MONIES  CONTAINED  WITHIN SUCH SPECIAL ACCOUNT, DO NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT
OF THE PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS TO BE MADE TO THE PROVIDER  OR  PROVIDERS  OF
THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS.
  4.    NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, ANY
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SECTION,
AND  ANY  COLLECTION  OF  SUCH FEE BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT, SHALL NOT BE
DEEMED TO CONSTITUTE, BE SUBJECT TO, OR BE IN VIOLATION OF, ANY TERM  OR
CONDITION  OF  EMPLOYMENT, WITH RESPECT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THE CIVIL
SERVICE LAW.
  S 4. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 92-o  to
read as follows:
  S  92-O.  LOCAL  GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FUND. 1.  THERE IS HEREBY
CREATED IN THE JOINT CUSTODY OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER AND THE  PRESIDENT
OF THE STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, A LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE BENE-
FIT  FUND.  WITHIN  SUCH FUND, THERE IS HEREBY CREATED A SPECIAL ACCOUNT
FOR EACH COUNTY, CITY, TOWN, AND VILLAGE OPERATING WITHIN THE STATE.
  2. SUCH FUND SHALL CONSIST OF THE REVENUES DERIVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT FEE COLLECTED BY EACH COUNTY, CITY, TOWN,  AND  VILLAGE

S. 4475                             3

OPERATING  WITHIN  THE STATE, PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE-C OF THE GENERAL
MUNICIPAL LAW, TOGETHER WITH SUCH ADDITIONAL VOLUNTARY PAYMENTS MADE  TO
THE FUND PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE-C OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW.
  3.  FOLLOWING  THE  APPROPRIATION  OF  THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE LOCAL
GOVERNMENT OF A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR  VILLAGE,  MONIES  FROM  THE  FUND
SHALL  BE  USED,  UPON  CERTIFICATION  BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER, FOR THE
PAYMENT OF ANY PUBLIC EMPLOYEE BENEFIT EXPENSE  INCURRED  BY  THE  LOCAL
GOVERNMENT.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SECTION,  AN EMPLOYEE BENEFIT
EXPENSE SHALL INCLUDE ANY EXPENSE DERIVED  FROM  THE  PROVISION  OF  ANY
NON-WAGE  BENEFIT,  INCLUDING  HEALTH CARE BENEFITS, INSURANCE BENEFITS,
PENSION BENEFITS, PARKING BENEFITS, DAY CARE BENEFITS, EDUCATIONAL BENE-
FITS OR ANY OTHER BENEFIT PROVIDED TO A PUBLIC EMPLOYEE AS RECOGNIZED BY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION  PURSUANT  TO  REGU-
LATION.  PAYMENT  OF  THE  MONIES OF THE FUND SHALL BE MADE BY THE STATE
COMPTROLLER, FROM THE SPECIAL ACCOUNT  OF  THE  COUNTY,  CITY,  TOWN  OR
VILLAGE, DIRECTLY TO THE ENTITY PROVIDING THE EMPLOYEE BENEFIT, PURSUANT
TO  DIRECTION  OF  THE  APPROPRIATION  MADE BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE
LOCAL GOVERNMENT. IN NO EVENT  SHALL  THE  STATE  COMPTROLLER  MAKE  ANY
PAYMENT  FROM  THE  SPECIAL  ACCOUNT,  IF  THE  MONIES CONTAINED IN SUCH
SPECIAL ACCOUNT, DO NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE PAYMENT OR PAYMENTS  TO
BE MADE TO THE PROVIDER OR PROVIDERS OF THE EMPLOYEE BENEFITS.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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