S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
January 11, 2021
Introduced by Sen. BRESLIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules
AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the certif-
ication of certain property complying with the residential-commercial
urban exemption program and the revocation of benefits of such program
in certain circumstances; and to amend a chapter of the laws of 2020
amending the real property tax law relating to the residential-com-
mercial urban exemption program, as proposed in legislative bills
numbers S. 5254-B and A. 8091-A, in relation to the effectiveness
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 485-a of the real property tax law, as amended by a
chapter of the laws of 2020, amending the real property tax law relating
to the residential-commercial urban exemption program, as proposed in
legislative bills numbers S. 5254-B and A. 8091-A, is amended to read as
§ 485-a. Residential-commercial urban exemption program. 1. Defi-
nitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the
(a) "Municipality" means any town, city or village except for a city
having more than one million inhabitants.
(b) "Applicant" means any person obligated to pay real property taxes
on the property for which an exemption from real property taxes under
this section is sought.
(c) "Commercial construction work" means the modernization, rehabili-
tation, expansion or other improvement of the portion of mixed-use prop-
erty to be used for commercial purposes.
(d) "Commercial purpose or use" means (I) the buying, selling or
otherwise providing of goods or services directly to the public[,
including hotel services, retail stores, office space, restaurants,
bars, gyms, theaters, and cafes]; OR (II) A NON-RESIDENTIAL LAWFUL USE
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, AN OFFICE, HOTEL, RETAIL STORE, BREWERY,
DISTILLERY, RESTAURANT, CAFE, BAR OR TAVERN, GYMNASIUM, THEATER, OR
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 1309 2
ENTERTAINMENT VENUE WHICH EMPLOYS OR IS ANTICIPATED TO EMPLOY A MINIMUM
OF FIVE EMPLOYEES PRIMARILY AT THE MIXED-USE PROPERTY FOR WHICH AN
EXEMPTION UNDER THIS SECTION IS SOUGHT.
(e) "Mixed-use property" means property on which will exist, after
completion of residential construction work or a combination of residen-
tial construction work and commercial construction work, a building or
structure used for both residential and commercial purposes of which,
at least [fifty] FORTY percent of the building or structure's square
footage is devoted to residential purposes or use and at least fifteen
percent of the building or structure's square footage is devoted to
commercial purposes or use. [Only square footage existing in a story
above grade shall be used in the determination of the building's
percentage of residential purposes or use and commercial purposes or
(f) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability
company, partnership, association, agency, trust, estate, foreign or
domestic government or subdivision thereof, or other entity.
(g) "Residential construction work" means the creation, modernization,
rehabilitation, expansion or other improvement of dwelling units, other
than dwelling units in a hotel, in the portion of mixed-use property to
be used for residential purposes.
[(h) "Floor area" means the horizontal areas of the several floors or
any portion thereof of a mixed-use property measured from the exterior
faces of exterior walls or from the center line of party walls, exclu-
sive of any area existing below-grade.
(i)] (H) "Story above grade" means any story having its finished floor
surface entirely above grade.
[(j)] (I) "Grade" shall mean the finished ground level adjoining the
building at all exterior walls.
2. Any municipality may, by local law, provide for the exemption of
real property from taxation as provided in this section. Upon the
adoption of such a local law, the county in which such municipality is
located may, by local law, and any school district, all or part of which
is located in such municipality, may, by resolution, exempt such proper-
ty from its taxation in the same manner and to the same extent as such
municipality has done.
3. Upon the adoption of such a local law, non-residential real proper-
ty, upon conversion to mixed-use property, shall be exempt from taxation
and special ad valorem levies as provided for in subdivision four of
this section. [Land which was vacant prior to the residential or commer-
cial construction work for which a tax exemption is sought, shall not be
eligible to receive benefits pursuant to this section.]
4. (a) (i) For a period of twelve years from the approval of an appli-
cation, the increase in assessed value of such property attributable to
such conversion shall be exempt as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph. Such exemption shall be computed with respect to the
"exemption base". The exemption base shall be determined for each year
in which there is an increase in assessed value so attributable from
that of the previous year's assessed value.
(ii) The following table shall illustrate the computation of the tax
Year of exemption Percentage of exemption
1 through 8 100% of exemption base
9 80% of exemption base
S. 1309 3
10 60% of exemption base
11 40% of exemption base
12 20% of exemption base
(b) No such exemption shall be granted unless:
(i) such conversion was commenced subsequent to the date on which the
municipality's local law took effect; AND
(ii) the cost of such conversion exceeds the sum of ten thousand
dollars or such greater amount as may be specified by local law[;
(iii) at least seventy-five percent of the floor area of the mixed-use
property consists of the pre-existing building or structure;
(iv) the portion of the building used for commercial purposes is
currently, as demonstrated by documentation submitted by the applicant,
used as such or is in good faith contemplated].
(c) For purposes of this section the term conversion shall not include
ordinary maintenance and repairs.
(d) No such exemption shall be granted concurrent with or subsequent
to any other real property tax exemption granted to the same improve-
ments to real property, except, where during the period of such previous
exemption, payments in lieu of taxes or other payments were made to the
local government in an amount that would have been equal to or greater
than the amount of real property taxes that would have been paid on such
improvements had such property been granted an exemption pursuant to
this section. In such case, an exemption shall be granted for a number
of years equal to the twelve year exemption granted pursuant to this
section less the number of years the property would have been previously
exempt from real property taxes.
5. Such exemption shall be granted only upon application by the owner
of such real property on a form prescribed by the commissioner. Such
application shall be filed with the assessor of the municipality or
county having the power to assess property for taxation on or before the
appropriate taxable status date of such municipality or county.
6. If the assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an
exemption pursuant to this section, he or she shall approve the applica-
tion and such real property shall be exempt from taxation and special ad
valorem levies as in this section provided. The assessed value of any
exemption granted pursuant to this section shall be entered by the
assessor on the assessment roll with the taxable property, with the
amount of the exemption shown in a separate column.
7. (a) During the period of exemption pursuant to this section, the
owner shall submit an annual certification to the assessor attesting
that the property complies with the provisions or requirements of this
section and any additional provisions or requirements as may be provided
by local law. Failure to submit such certification shall result in revo-
cation of benefits. Such certification shall include at a minimum the
(i) the types of residential use and the total above-grade square
footage AND BELOW-GRADE SQUARE FOOTAGE of such use;
(ii) the types of commercial use and the total above-grade square
footage AND BELOW-GRADE SQUARE FOOTAGE of such use;
(iii) attestation that the portion of the building used for commercial
purposes is currently, as demonstrated by documentation submitted by the
applicant, used as such or is in good faith contemplated TO BE USED AS
(iv) THE SPECIFIC ADDRESS OF THE ENTRANCE THROUGH WHICH THE PUBLIC
ENTERS THE PORTION OF THE BUILDING USED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES;
S. 1309 4
(V) IF THE PORTION OF THE BUILDING INTENDED TO BE USED FOR COMMERCIAL
PURPOSES IS NOT CURRENTLY IN ACTIVE USE FOR SUCH PURPOSES AND OPEN TO
THE PUBLIC, THE REASONS WHY IT IS NOT CURRENTLY BEING USED FOR COMMER-
CIAL PURPOSES AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC; AND
(VI) all such other information required by the municipality.
(b) If the assessor is satisfied that the applicant continues to be
entitled to the exemption pursuant to this section, the assessor shall
approve the certification and the real property shall remain exempt from
taxation and special ad valorem levies for another year as provided in
8. (a) The benefits of this section shall be revoked upon a finding by
the assessor that:
(i) the application for benefits hereunder or the annual certification
required hereunder contains a false statement or false information as to
a material matter or omits a material matter; [or]
(ii) the eligible real property fails to comply with one or more of
the provisions or requirements of this section or any provisions or
requirements provided by local law; OR
(III) THE PORTION OF THE PROPERTY DEVOTED TO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES HAS
NOT BEEN IN ACTIVE USE FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS.
(b) Such revocation shall require the repayment of any benefits previ-
ously granted pursuant to this section FOR ANY YEAR DURING WHICH THE
PROPERTY WAS NON-COMPLIANT OR THE APPLICATION OR ANNUAL CERTIFICATION
CONTAINED A FALSE STATEMENT OR FALSE INFORMATION AS TO A MATERIAL MATTER
OR OMITTED A MATERIAL MATTER.
(C) NO BENEFITS MAY BE REVOKED UNLESS THE APPLICANT HAS BEEN GIVEN
THIRTY DAYS' NOTICE OF SUCH REVOCATION AND HAS BEEN GIVEN REASONABLE
NOTICE TO CURE ANY FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF REQUIREMENTS
OF THIS SECTION.
9. If the assessor determines that there was a material misstatement
in an application filed by or on behalf of the owners for an exemption
pursuant to this section and that such misstatement provided the basis
for the granting of such exemption, the municipality shall proceed to
impose a penalty on the applicant of one thousand dollars in addition to
recovering the amount of any prior exemption granted.
§ 2. Section 2 of a chapter of the laws of 2020, amending the real
property tax law relating to the residential-commercial urban exemption
program as proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 5254-B and A.
8091-A, is amended to read as follows:
§ 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2021 and shall apply to
properties for which the initial application for exemption are received
on and after such date, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THIS ACT SHALL NOT APPLY
TO PROPERTIES FOR WHICH THE BUILDING PERMIT FOR CONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN
ISSUED PRIOR TO SUCH EFFECTIVE DATE, OR WITHIN 180 DAYS OF SUCH EFFEC-
TIVE DATE, PROVIDED THAT SUCH PROJECT RECEIVES A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPAN-
CY WITHIN 24 MONTHS OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE BUILDING PERMIT OR SUCH
EFFECTIVE DATE, WHICHEVER OCCURS LATER. DAYS FOR WHICH A STOP WORK ORDER
IS ISSUED DUE TO THE COVID-19 STATE DISASTER EMERGENCY, AS REQUIRED BY
THE LOCALITY AND/OR EXECUTIVE ORDER OR OTHER LAW, SHALL NOT BE INCLUDED
IN THE CALCULATION OF THESE TIME PERIODS.
§ 3. This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same
manner as a chapter of the laws of 2020, amending the real property tax
law relating to the residential-commercial urban exemption program, as
proposed in legislative bills numbers S. 5254-B and A. 8091-A, takes