senate Bill S5931

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Enacts the "Mohawk Valley and Niagara county assessment relief act"

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 27, 2014 referred to real property taxation
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Jan 13, 2014 ordered to third reading cal.2
committee discharged and committed to rules
Jan 08, 2014 referred to local government
Sep 06, 2013 referred to rules

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S5931 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8194
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Local Finance Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §11.00, Loc Fin L

S5931 - Bill Texts

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Enacts the "Mohawk valley and Niagara county assessment relief act" authorizing eligible municipalities in certain counties to provide assessment relief for property which was catastrophically damaged by severe weather.

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BILL NUMBER:S5931

TITLE OF BILL: An act to enact the "Mohawk Valley and Niagara county
assessment relief act", and to amend the local finance law, in
relation to real property tax refunds and credits in such county

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To provide real property tax relief
to property owners in eligible counties whose properties were impacted
by severe weather and flooding during the summer of 2013.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 contains the title: "The Mohawk Valley and Niagara county
assessment relief act."

Section 2 defines the terms used in the act.

Section 3 provides that an eligible county may adopt the provisions of
this act by Passing a resolution by the forty-fifth day following the
date upon which this act is approved by the Governor.

Section 4 provides that in a participating municipality, properties
that were impacted by severe weather, having lost fifty percent or
more of their improved value, shall be granted assessment relief as
follows:

* If the property lost at least fifty but less than sixty percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by fifty-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lost at least sixty but less than seventy percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shell be reduced by sixty-five Percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lest at least seventy but less than eighty percent
of its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by seventy-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lost at least eighty but less than ninety percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by eighty-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lost at least ninety but less than one hundred
percent of its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by ninety-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lost all of its improved value, the assessed value
attributable to the improvements shall be reduced to zero for the
impacted tax roll.

At local option, a municipal corporation may also adopt the following
additional assessment reductions:


* If the property lost at least ten but less than twenty percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by fifteen percent for the impacted tax
roll.

* If the property lost at twenty but less than thirty percent of its
improved value, the assessed value attributable to the improvements
shall be reduced by twenty-five percent for the impacted tax roll.

* If the property lost at least thirty but less than forty percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by thirty-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

* If the property lost. at least forty but less than fifty percent of
its improved value, the assessed value attributable to the
improvements shall be reduced by forty-five percent for the impacted
tax roll.

The percentage loss in value due to severe weather would be determined
by the assessor, which would be subject to review by the Board of.
Assessment Review, or the assessment review commission, whichever is
applicable, if so requested by the taxpayer.

To receive relief pursuant to this act, the property owner must submit
a written request to the assessor within 90 days following the date
upon which this act is approved by the Governor.

Section 5 allows for the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance to
develop a guidance memorandum for use by assessing units.

Section 6 of this act would provide that the schools districts be held
harmless by the State for any reduction in State Aid that would have
been paid as at tax savings pursuant to § 1306-a of the Real Property
Tax Law.

Section 7 would provide that any Federal Community Development Block
Grant funding received by a Participating municipality, in relation to
loss of real property tax funding, shall first be used to defease the
interest and principal of any bond authorized by this act.

Section 8 amends the local finance law by adding subdivision 33-c,
which authorizes local governments to issue bonds related to this act.

Section 9 severability clause

Section 10 sets the effective date as immediate and sets it to have
been in full force and effect on and after June 20, 2013.

JUSTIFICATION: Severe weather and flooding between the dates of June
20th and August 9th of 2013 resulted in significant damage to
properties in several counties in New York State. This legislation
provides relief in the form of a property tax reduction for those
taxpayers in eligible counties whose property was substantially
damaged by these incidents of severe weather.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to State

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall be
deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after June 20th of
2013.

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

                                  5931

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            September 6, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. SEWARD, O'MARA, GRIFFO, VALESKY, MAZIARZ, FARLEY --
  read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to
  the Committee on Rules

AN  ACT to enact the "Mohawk Valley and Niagara county assessment relief
  act", and to amend the local finance law, in relation to real property
  tax refunds and credits in such county

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

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "Mohawk Valley and Niagara county assessment relief act".
  S 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this act,  the  following  terms
shall have the following meanings:
  1.  "Eligible  county"  shall  mean  the counties of Oneida, Herkimer,
Madison, Montgomery, Tompkins, Cortland, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben  and
Niagara.
  2.  "Eligible  municipality"  shall  mean  a municipal corporation, as
defined by subdivision 10 of section 102 of the real property  tax  law,
which  is  either: (a) an eligible county; or (b) a city, town, village,
special district, or school district that is wholly or partly  contained
within an eligible county.
  3.  "Impacted  tax  roll"  shall  mean the final assessment roll which
satisfies both of the following conditions: (a) the roll is based upon a
taxable status date occurring prior to June  20,  2013;  and  (b)  taxes
levied  upon  that  roll by or on behalf of a participating municipality
are payable without interest on or after June 20, 2013.
  4. "Participating municipality" shall mean  an  eligible  municipality
that  has  passed  a  local  law,  ordinance,  or resolution pursuant to
section three of this act  to  provide  assessment  relief  to  property
owners  within  such eligible municipality pursuant to the provisions of
this act.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11643-05-3

S. 5931                             2

  5. "Severe weather" shall mean the storms,  rains,  winds,  or  floods
which  occurred within an eligible county during the period beginning on
June 20, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013.
  6.  "Total  assessed value" shall mean the total assessed value on the
parcel prior to any and all exemption adjustments.
  7. "Improved value" shall mean the market value of the  real  property
improvements excluding the land.
  8.  "Property"  shall  mean  "real  property", "property" or "land" as
defined under paragraphs (a) through (g) of subdivision  12  of  section
102 of the real property tax law.
  S   3.  Local  option.  An  eligible  municipality  may  exercise  the
provisions of this act if its governing body shall, by  the  forty-fifth
day  following the date upon which this act is approved by the governor,
pass a local law or in the case of a school district a resolution adopt-
ing the provisions of this act.   An eligible municipality  may  provide
assessment  relief  for real property impacted by severe weather located
within such municipality as provided  in  paragraphs  (i),  (ii),  (iii)
and/or  (iv)  of subdivision (a) of section four of this act only if its
governing body specifically elects to do so as part of such local law or
resolution.
  S 4. Assessment relief for severe weather victims in an eligible coun-
ty. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, where real
property impacted by severe weather is located  within  a  participating
municipality, assessment relief shall be granted as follows:
  (i)  If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief for real property that lost at least ten percent  but  less  than
twenty percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed
value  attributable  to  the  improvements  shall  be reduced by fifteen
percent for purposes of the participating municipality on  the  impacted
tax roll.
  (ii) If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief for real property that lost at least twenty percent but less than
thirty percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed
value  attributable  to the improvements shall be reduced by twenty-five
percent for purposes of the participating municipality on  the  impacted
tax roll.
  (iii)  If  a participating municipality has elected to provide assess-
ment relief for real property that lost at least thirty percent but less
than forty percent of its improved value  due  to  severe  weather,  the
assessed  value  attributable  to  the  improvements shall be reduced by
thirty-five percent for purposes of the  participating  municipality  on
the impacted tax roll.
  (iv) If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief  for real property that lost at least forty percent but less than
fifty percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the  assessed
value  attributable  to  the improvements shall be reduced by forty-five
percent for purposes of the participating municipality on  the  impacted
tax roll.
  (v) If the property lost at least fifty but less than sixty percent of
its  improved  value due to severe weather, the assessed value attribut-
able to the improvements shall be  reduced  by  fifty-five  percent  for
purposes of the participating municipality on the impacted tax roll.
  (vi) If the property lost at least sixty but less than seventy percent
of  its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed value attrib-
utable to the improvements shall be reduced by  sixty-five  percent  for
purposes of the participating municipality on the impacted tax roll.

S. 5931                             3

  (vii)  If  the  property  lost  at  least seventy but less than eighty
percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed  value
attributable  to  the  improvements  shall  be  reduced  by seventy-five
percent for purposes of the participating municipality on  the  impacted
tax roll.
  (viii)  If  the  property  lost  at  least eighty but less than ninety
percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed  value
attributable to the improvements shall be reduced by eighty-five percent
for purposes of the participating municipality on the impacted tax roll.
  (ix)  If  the  property lost at least ninety but less than one hundred
percent of its improved value due to severe weather, the assessed  value
attributable to the improvements shall be reduced by ninety-five percent
for purposes of the participating municipality on the impacted tax roll.
  (x) If the property lost one hundred percent of its improved value due
to  severe  weather, the assessed value attributable to the improvements
shall be reduced by one hundred percent for purposes of the  participat-
ing municipality on the impacted tax roll.
  (xi)  The  percentage loss in improved value for this purpose shall be
determined by the assessor in the manner provided by this  act,  subject
to review by the board of assessment review.
  (xii) No reduction in assessed value shall be granted pursuant to this
act  except  as  specified  above  for  such  counties.  No reduction in
assessed value shall be granted pursuant to this section for purposes of
any county, city, town, village or school district which has not adopted
the provisions of this act.
  (b) To receive such relief pursuant  to  this  section,  the  property
owner  shall submit a written request to the assessor on a form approved
by the director of the state office of real property tax services within
ninety days following the date upon which this act is  approved  by  the
governor.  Such  request  shall describe in reasonable detail the damage
caused to the property by severe weather and the condition of the  prop-
erty following the severe weather and shall be accompanied by supporting
documentation, if available.
  (c)  Upon receiving such a request, the assessor shall make a finding,
as to whether the property lost at least fifty percent of  its  improved
value or, if a participating municipality has elected to provide assess-
ment  relief for real property that lost a lesser percentage of improved
value, such lesser percentage of its  improved  value  as  a  result  of
severe weather, and thereafter the assessor, shall adopt or classify the
percentage loss of improved value within one of the following ranges:
  (i)  If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief for real property that lost at least ten percent  but  less  than
twenty  percent of its improvement value due to severe weather, at least
ten percent but less than twenty percent,
  (ii) If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief for real property that lost at least twenty percent but less than
thirty percent of its improved value due to  severe  weather,  at  least
twenty percent but less than thirty percent,
  (iii)  If  a participating municipality has elected to provide assess-
ment relief for real property that lost at least thirty percent but less
than forty percent of its improved value due to severe weather, at least
thirty percent but less than forty percent,
  (iv) If a participating municipality has elected to provide assessment
relief for real property that lost at least forty percent but less  than
fifty  percent  of  its  improved  value due to severe weather, at least
forty percent but less than fifty percent,

S. 5931                             4

  (v) At least fifty percent but less than sixty percent,
  (vi) At least sixty percent but less than seventy percent,
  (vii) At least seventy percent but less than eighty percent,
  (viii) At least eighty percent but less than ninety percent,
  (ix) At least ninety percent but less than one hundred percent, or
  (x) one hundred percent.
  (d)  The  assessor  shall  mail  written notice of such finding to the
property owner and the participating municipality.  Where  the  assessor
finds  that the loss in improved value is less than fifty percent or, if
a participating municipality has elected to  provide  assessment  relief
for  real  property located within such participating municipality for a
lesser percentage, is less than such lesser  percentage,  or  classifies
the  loss  within  a  lower  range  than  the property owner believes is
warranted, the property owner may file a complaint  with  the  board  of
assessment  review.  Such  board  shall  reconvene upon ten days written
notice to the property owner and assessor to hear the appeal and  deter-
mine  the  matter, and shall mail written notice of its determination to
the assessor and property owner. The provisions of article 5 of the real
property tax law shall govern the review process to the extent practica-
ble. For the purposes of this act only, the applicant may commence with-
in 30 days of service of a written  determination,  a  proceeding  under
title  1  of  article 7 of the real property tax law, or, if applicable,
under title 1-A of article 7 of the real property tax law. Sections  727
and 739 of the real property tax law shall not apply.
  (e)  Where  property  has  lost at least fifty percent of its improved
value or, if a participating municipality has elected to provide assess-
ment relief for real property that lost a lesser percentage of  improved
value,  such lesser percentage due to severe weather, the assessed value
attributable to the improvements on the property on the impacted assess-
ment roll shall be reduced by the appropriate  percentage  specified  in
subdivision  (a) of this section, provided that any exemptions which the
property may be receiving shall be adjusted as necessary to account  for
such  reduction  in  the  total  assessed value. To the extent the total
assessed value of the property originally appearing on such roll exceeds
the amount to which it should be  reduced  pursuant  to  this  act,  the
excess  shall  be  considered  an  error in essential fact as defined by
subdivision 3 of section 550 of the real property tax law.  If the error
appears on a tax roll, the tax roll shall be  corrected  in  the  manner
provided  by  section  554  of  the real property tax law or a refund or
credit of taxes shall be granted in the manner provided by  section  556
or section 556-b of the real property tax law. If the error appears on a
final  assessment roll but not on a tax roll, such final assessment roll
shall be corrected in the manner provided by section  553  of  the  real
property  tax  law.  The errors in essential fact found pursuant to this
act on either the tax roll or final assessment roll, upon application to
the county director of real property tax services, shall be forwarded by
the county director of real property tax  services  immediately  to  the
levying  body  for  an  immediate  order  setting  forth the appropriate
correction.
  (f) The rights contained in this act shall not otherwise diminish  any
other  legally  available  right  of any property owner or party who may
otherwise lawfully challenge the valuation or  assessment  of  any  real
property or improvements thereon. All remaining rights hereby remain and
shall  be  available to the party to whom such rights would otherwise be
available notwithstanding this act.

S. 5931                             5

  S 5. The commissioner of taxation and finance is authorized to develop
a guidance memorandum for use by assessing units. Such guidance memoran-
dum shall assist with the implementation of this act and shall be deemed
to be advisory on all assessing units in counties  which  implement  the
provisions  of this act.  The guidance memorandum shall have no force or
effect or serve as authority for any other act of assessing units or  of
the  interpretation  or  implementation  of the laws of the state of New
York except as they relate to the specific implementation of this act.
  S 6. School districts held harmless.  Each  school  district  that  is
wholly  or  partially  contained within an eligible county shall be held
harmless by the state for any reduction in state  aid  that  would  have
been paid as tax savings pursuant to section 1306-a of the real property
tax law incurred due to the provisions of this act.
  S  7.  Bonds  authorized.  Serial  bonds, and in advance of such, bond
anticipation notes, are hereby authorized pursuant to  subdivision  33-c
of  paragraph  a  of  section  11.00 of the local finance law, provided,
however, that any federal  community  development  block  grant  funding
received  by  such  participating  municipality,  in relation to loss of
property tax funding, shall first be used to defease, upon maturity, the
interest and principal of any such bond or note so outstanding.
  S 8. Paragraph a of section 11.00 of the local finance law is  amended
by adding a new subdivision 33-c to read as follows:
  33-C.  REAL  PROPERTY TAX REFUNDS AND CREDITS. PAYMENTS OF EXEMPTIONS,
REFUNDS, OR CREDITS FOR REAL PROPERTY TAX, SEWER AND WATER RENTS,  RATES
AND  CHARGES  AND  ALL OTHER REAL PROPERTY TAXES TO BE MADE BY A MUNICI-
PALITY, SCHOOL DISTRICT OR DISTRICT CORPORATION AS A RESULT  OF  PARTIC-
IPATING  IN  THE MOHAWK VALLEY AND NIAGARA COUNTY ASSESSMENT RELIEF ACT,
TEN YEARS.
  S 9. Severability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivi-
sion, section or part of this act shall be  adjudged  by  any  court  of
competent  jurisdiction  to  be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,
impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall  be  confined  in
its  operation  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section
or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judg-
ment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the intent of
the legislature that this act would  have  been  enacted  even  if  such
invalid provisions had not been included herein.
  S  10.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to
have been in full force and effect on and after June 20, 2013.

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