senate Bill S7623A

Relates to conservation agreement exemptions in certain towns

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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

  • 19 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1307
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 11 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO WAYS AND MEANS
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • RECALLED FROM ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • VOTE RECONSIDERED - RESTORED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 7623A
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A9719A

Summary

Relates to conservation agreement exemptions in certain towns.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9719A
Versions:
S7623
S7623A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Real Property Tax Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง491-a, RPT L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7623A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation
to conservation agreement exemptions in certain towns

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Provides for additional population
bands to those used in 2009 legislation to provide state authority for
conservation easement tax exemptions for the Town of Bethlehem.
Certain towns were given this authority previously.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds a new section 491-a to
the Real Property Tax Law, allowing for the Town of Bethlehem in
Albany County to offer a conservation easement identical to those
offered by certain towns in Erie County pursuant to Section 491 of the
Real Property Tax Law as established by 2009 legislation. It provides
for definitions, procedures, computation and penalties, identical to
those currently described in section 491 for other eligible towns.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would allow the Town of Bethlehem in Albany
County to provide conservation easement exemptions originally
authorized for certain towns in 2009 with establishment of section 491
of the Real Property Tax Law. Bethlehem has been studying open space
issues for several years, including legal methods of reflecting the
benefits of conserved lands in property taxes, and would like to offer
this exemption, pursuant to local law and other actions of the town
board. Section 491 uses narrow population corridors to define eligible
towns, and was originally drafted to identify the towns of Orchard
Park and Elma in Erie County by referring to the "most recent
decennial census." This drafting approach can be a problem when
subsequent population changes occur, and accordingly, this bill is
drafted to define Bethlehem as an eligible town by referring
specifically to the 2010 decennial federal census as recorded, which
would prevent this problem from occurring in the future. This bill
would allow the Town of Bethlehem in Albany County to provide the
conservation easements authorized under section 491. No other town is
affected.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: : Section 491 of the Real Property Tax Law
added by Chapters 296 and 311 of the Laws of 2009; the impact was to
establish two sections 491 applying to the Towns of Orchard Park and
Elma respectively.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State of New York.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately

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

    S. 7623--A                                            A. 9719--A
    Cal. No. 1307                                          R. R. 215

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                              May 19, 2014
                               ___________

IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. BRESLIN -- read twice and ordered print-
  ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Govern-
  ment  -- committee discharged and said bill committed to the Committee
  on Rules -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to a third
  reading, passed by Senate and delivered  to  the  Assembly,  recalled,
  vote  reconsidered,  restored  to  third  reading, amended and ordered
  reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. FAHY -- read once and referred  to
  the  Committee  on  Real Property Taxation -- reported and referred to
  the Committee on Codes -- reported and referred to  the  Committee  on
  Ways  and  Means -- reported and referred to the Committee on Rules --
  amended on the special order of third reading,  ordered  reprinted  as
  amended, retaining its place on the special order of third reading

AN  ACT  to amend the real property tax law, in relation to conservation
  agreement exemptions in certain towns

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

  Section  1.  The  real  property  tax  law  is amended by adding a new
section 491-a to read as follows:
  S 491-A. CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT EXEMPTION; CERTAIN TOWNS.  1.
APPLICABILITY. IN A TOWN HAVING A POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THIRTY-TWO
THOUSAND  AND  NOT  MORE THAN THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND, THAT IS LOCATED IN A
COUNTY HAVING A POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED  THOUSAND  AND
NOT  MORE  THAN THREE HUNDRED SEVEN THOUSAND, BASED UPON AND RECORDED BY
THE LATEST CENSUS, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO ADOPT A LOCAL LAW TO  PROVIDE
THAT, REAL PROPERTY WHOSE INTERESTS OR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED FOR THE
PURPOSE OF THE PRESERVATION OF AN OPEN SPACE OR AN OPEN AREA, AS AUTHOR-
IZED  IN  SECTION  TWO HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW,
MAY BE PARTIALLY EXEMPT FROM LOCAL REAL PROPERTY TAXATION, PROVIDED THAT
THE OWNER OR OWNERS OF SUCH REAL  PROPERTY  ENTER  INTO  A  CONSERVATION
EASEMENT  AGREEMENT  WITH THE MUNICIPALITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROCE-
DURES SPECIFIED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION. A COUNTY HAVING  A
POPULATION  OF  NOT  LESS  THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND NOT MORE THAN

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15088-04-4

S. 7623--A                          2                         A. 9719--A

THREE HUNDRED SEVEN THOUSAND BASED  UPON  AND  RECORDED  IN  THE  LATEST
CENSUS  MAY, BY LOCAL LAW, AND ANY SCHOOL DISTRICT, ALL OR PART OF WHICH
IS LOCATED IN A TOWN HAVING A POPULATION OF  NOT  LESS  THAN  THIRTY-TWO
THOUSAND  AND  NOT  MORE  THAN THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND THAT IS LOCATED IN A
COUNTY HAVING A POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED  THOUSAND  AND
NOT  MORE  THAN  THREE HUNDRED SEVEN THOUSAND BASED UPON AND RECORDED BY
THE LATEST CENSUS, MAY, BY RESOLUTION, EXEMPT  SUCH  PROPERTY  FROM  ITS
TAXATION  IN  THE  SAME  MANNER  AND TO THE SAME EXTENT AS SUCH TOWN HAS
DONE.
  2. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, THE  FOLLOWING  TERMS
SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: "OPEN SPACE" OR "OPEN AREA" MEANS ANY
SPACE  OR  AREA CHARACTERIZED BY NATURAL SCENIC BEAUTY OR WHOSE EXISTING
OPENNESS, NATURAL CONDITION OR PRESENT STATE OF USE, IF RETAINED,  WOULD
ENHANCE  THE PRESENT OR POTENTIAL VALUE OF ABUTTING OR SURROUNDING URBAN
DEVELOPMENT OR WOULD MAINTAIN OR ENHANCE THE CONSERVATION OF NATURAL  OR
SCENIC  RESOURCES.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS DEFINITION, "NATURAL OR
SCENIC RESOURCES" SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT  BE  LIMITED  TO,  AGRICULTURAL
LANDS  DEFINED  AS  OPEN  LANDS  ACTUALLY USED IN BONA FIDE AGRICULTURAL
PRODUCTION.
  3. PROCEDURES FOR OBTAINING A CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT. (A) ANY
OWNER OR OWNERS OF LAND MAY SUBMIT A PROPOSAL TO THE  TOWN  BOARD  OF  A
TOWN  HAVING  A  POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND AND NOT
MORE THAN THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND THAT IS LOCATED  IN  A  COUNTY  HAVING  A
POPULATION  OF  NOT  LESS  THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND NOT MORE THAN
THREE HUNDRED SEVEN THOUSAND, BASED UPON  AND  RECORDED  BY  THE  LATEST
CENSUS,  FOR THE GRANTING OF INTEREST OR RIGHTS IN REAL PROPERTY FOR THE
PRESERVATION OF OPEN SPACE OR AREAS. SUCH PROPOSAL SHALL BE SUBMITTED IN
SUCH A MANNER AND FORM AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSERVATION BOARD OF
SUCH TOWN.
  (B) UPON RECEIPT OF SUCH PROPOSAL, THE TOWN  BOARD  SHALL  CONVEY  THE
PROPOSAL TO THE CONSERVATION BOARD OF SUCH TOWN. SUCH CONSERVATION BOARD
SHALL  INVESTIGATE  THE  AREA  TO  DETERMINE IF THE PROPOSAL WOULD BE OF
BENEFIT TO THE PEOPLE OF THE TOWN AND MAY NEGOTIATE THE TERMS AND CONDI-
TIONS OF THE OFFER. IF THE CONSERVATION BOARD DETERMINES THAT IT  IS  IN
THE  PUBLIC  INTEREST TO ACCEPT SUCH PROPOSAL, IT SHALL RECOMMEND TO THE
TOWN BOARD THAT IT HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE PURPOSE OF  DETERMINING
WHETHER OR NOT THE TOWN SHOULD ACCEPT SUCH PROPOSAL.
  (C)  THE TOWN BOARD SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIPT OF SUCH ADVI-
SORY OPINION, HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING SUCH PROPOSAL AT A  PLACE
WITHIN  THE TOWN. AT LEAST TEN DAYS NOTICE OF THE TIME AND PLACE OF SUCH
HEARING SHALL BE PUBLISHED IN A PAPER OF  GENERAL  CIRCULATION  IN  SUCH
TOWN,  AND A WRITTEN NOTICE OF SUCH PROPOSAL SHALL BE GIVEN TO ALL ADJA-
CENT PROPERTY OWNERS AND TO ANY MUNICIPALITY WHOSE BOUNDARIES ARE WITHIN
FIVE HUNDRED FEET OF THE BOUNDARIES OF SAID PROPOSED AREA,  AND  TO  THE
SCHOOL DISTRICT IN WHICH IT IS LOCATED.
  (D)  THE  TOWN  BOARD, AFTER RECEIVING THE REPORTS OF THE CONSERVATION
BOARD OF A TOWN HAVING A POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND
AND NOT MORE THAN THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND  THAT  IS  LOCATED  IN  A  COUNTY
HAVING A POPULATION OF NOT LESS THAN THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND NOT MORE
THAN THREE HUNDRED SEVEN THOUSAND, BASED UPON AND RECORDED BY THE LATEST
CENSUS,  AND  AFTER  SUCH  PUBLIC HEARING, MAY ADOPT THE PROPOSAL OR ANY
MODIFICATION THEREOF IT DEEMS  APPROPRIATE  OR  MAY  REJECT  IT  IN  ITS
ENTIRETY.
  (E)  IF  SUCH  PROPOSAL  IS  ADOPTED  BY  THE  TOWN BOARD, IT SHALL BE
EXECUTED BY THE OWNER OR OWNERS IN WRITTEN FORM AND IN A  FORM  SUITABLE
FOR RECORDING IN THE COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE.

S. 7623--A                          3                         A. 9719--A

  (F)  SUCH  AGREEMENT MAY NOT BE CANCELED BY EITHER PARTY. HOWEVER, THE
OWNER OR OWNERS THEREOF MAY PETITION THE  TOWN  BOARD  FOR  CANCELLATION
UPON  GOOD  CAUSE  SHOWN, AND SUCH CANCELLATION MAY BE GRANTED ONLY UPON
PAYMENT OF THE PENALTIES PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION.
  4.  COMPUTATION.  (A)  AN  EXEMPTION  GRANTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION
SHALL COMMENCE AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE  OF  THE  CONSERVATION  EASEMENT
AGREEMENT,  AND  SHALL  TERMINATE  UPON THE EXPIRATION OR TERMINATION OF
SUCH CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT.
  (B) THE FOLLOWING  TABLE  SHALL  ILLUSTRATE  THE  COMPUTATION  OF  THE
EXEMPTION:
          COMMITMENT                    PERCENTAGE OF EXEMPTION
        15 TO 29 YEARS                            50%
        30 TO 49 YEARS                            75%
        50 TO 75 YEARS                            85%
        PERPETUAL                                 90%
SUCH  EXEMPTION  SHALL  BE GRANTED ONLY UPON APPLICATION BY THE OWNER OR
OWNERS OF SUCH REAL PROPERTY ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY  THE  COMMISSIONER.
SUCH  APPLICATION  SHALL  BE  FILED  WITH THE ASSESSOR OF THE TOWN ON OR
BEFORE THE TAXABLE STATUS DATE OF SUCH TOWN.
  (C) IF SATISFIED THAT THE APPLICANT IS ENTITLED TO AN EXEMPTION PURSU-
ANT TO THIS SECTION, THE ASSESSOR SHALL APPROVE THE APPLICATION AND SUCH
REAL PROPERTY SHALL THEREAFTER BE EXEMPT FROM TAXATION  AND  SPECIAL  AD
VALOREM  LEVIES  AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION COMMENCING WITH THE ASSESS-
MENT ROLL PREPARED ON THE  BASIS  OF  THE  TAXABLE  STATUS  DATE.    THE
ASSESSED  VALUE  OF ANY EXEMPTION GRANTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL
BE ENTERED BY THE ASSESSOR ON THE ASSESSMENT ROLL WITH THE TAXABLE PROP-
ERTY, WITH THE AMOUNT OF THE EXEMPTION SHOWN IN A SEPARATE COLUMN.
  (D) WHENEVER A CONSERVATION EASEMENT ENCUMBERS ONLY  A  PORTION  OF  A
PARCEL,  THE  ASSESSOR SHALL HENCEFORTH ENTER THAT PORTION OF THE PARCEL
ENCUMBERED BY SUCH EASEMENT AS  A  SEPARATE  PARCEL  ON  ALL  SUBSEQUENT
ASSESSMENT ROLLS.
  5.  PENALTIES  FOR  OFFENSES. IF THERE IS A VIOLATION OF THE TERMS AND
CONDITIONS OF THE CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT OR IF  SUCH  CONSERVA-
TION  EASEMENT  AGREEMENT  IS  CANCELED BY THE TOWN BOARD UPON PETITION,
THEN THE OWNER OR OWNERS OF SUCH PROPERTY  MUST  PAY  TO  THE  TOWN  THE
FOLLOWING AMOUNTS:
  (A)  ALL TAXES ABATED PURSUANT TO THE CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT,
AS LIMITED BY THE REMAINDER OF THIS SECTION, INCLUDING,  IF  APPLICABLE,
THOSE  TAXES  IMPOSED  BY  THE  COUNTY,  TOWN,  SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND ALL
SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS AND OTHER TAXING UNITS TO WHICH THE  PROP-
ERTY  IS  SUBJECT. REPAYMENT OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ABATED TAXES SHALL BE
EQUAL TO FIVE TIMES THE TAXES SAVED IN THE LAST YEAR IN WHICH  THE  LAND
BENEFITED  FROM A CONSERVATION EASEMENT AGREEMENT EXEMPTION, PLUS INTER-
EST OF SIX PERCENT PER YEAR COMPOUNDED ANNUALLY FOR EACH YEAR  IN  WHICH
AN EXEMPTION WAS GRANTED, NOT EXCEEDING FIVE YEARS.
  (B)  PAYMENTS  SHALL BE ADDED BY OR ON BEHALF OF EACH TAXING JURISDIC-
TION TO THE TAXES LEVIED ON THE ASSESSMENT ROLL PREPARED ON THE BASIS OF
THE FIRST TAXABLE STATUS DATE AFTER THERE IS A VIOLATION  OF  THE  TERMS
AND  CONDITIONS  OF THE CONSERVATION EASEMENT OR SUCH CONSERVATION EASE-
MENT AGREEMENT IS CANCELED.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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