Authorizes municipalities in the county of Suffolk to establish programs for providing real property tax exemptions and abatements to landlords of senior citizens for the units occupied by the senior citizen; such abatements shall be passed through to seniors in the form of rent reductions.
BILL NUMBER: S1808
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to a senior citizen rent exemption and tax abatement program within Suffolk county
PURPOSE : To authorize municipalities in Suffolk County to initiate a program whereby eligible senior citizens would receive a rent reduction as a result of a partial real property tax exemption to the senior tenant's landlord.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : The bill allows municipalities in Suffolk County to adopt a local law or resolution to institute a senior citizen rent/property tax abatement program. The program would be designed to aid those renters 65 years of age or older, who reside in private, residential rental units and whose incomes fall within specified guidelines to be established by the municipality.
Eligible senior citizens would apply each year for a tax abatement certificate from the local assessor on a form prescribed by the state board of equalization and assessment.
A landlord, if he or she consented, would be required to reduce the tenant's rent on a monthly basis, in return for a partial property tax exemption granted by the municipality.
JUSTIFICATION : Many municipalities in Suffolk County are faced with a housing shortage, resulting in high rents and making it particularly difficult for senior citizens to afford good housing. Localities are presently prevented from adequately assisting senior citizen renters because of the absence of authorization for a rent/tax abatement program in the real property tax law. This bill would provide these municipalities with the needed flexibility to aid senior citizens, many of whom are on a fixed income and cannot keep up with the rising cost of housing.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to real property having a taxable status date on or after such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1808 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 9, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. O. JOHNSON, FUSCHILLO, LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to a senior citi- zen rent exemption and tax abatement program within Suffolk county 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 467-g to read as follows: S 467-G. TENANTS SIXTY-FIVE YEARS OF AGE OR OVER WITHIN SUFFOLK COUN- TY. 1. ANY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION WITHIN SUFFOLK COUNTY IS HEREBY AUTHOR- IZED TO PROVIDE A PROGRAM OF SENIOR CITIZEN RENT EXEMPTION AND TAX ABATEMENT PROVIDED THE GOVERNING BOARD OF SUCH MUNICIPALITY, AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING THEREON, ADOPTS A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE PROVIDING THERE- FOR. SUCH PROGRAM SHALL APPLY TO PERSONS SIXTY-FIVE YEARS OF AGE OR OVER, WHO RESIDE IN RESIDENTIAL RENTAL PREMISES AND WHO ARE HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS WHOSE INCOMES FALL WITHIN SPECIFIED LIMITS TO BE ESTABLISHED BY SUCH LAW OR ORDINANCE. 2. THE ELIGIBLE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD SHALL APPLY EACH YEAR, PRIOR TO THE TAXABLE STATUS DATE PRESCRIBED BY LAW, TO THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL ASSESSOR FOR A TAX ABATEMENT CERTIFICATE, ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE BOARD. AS A REQUIRED PART OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS, EACH APPLICANT SHALL ALSO SUBMIT AN ACCESSORY AGREEMENT SIGNED BY HIS OR HER LANDLORD, ATTESTING TO THE LANDLORD'S WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM. SUCH AGREEMENT SHALL INCLUDE THE LANDLORD'S RESPONSIBILITIES TO (A) REDUCE THE TENANT'S RENT ON A MONTHLY BASIS BY ONE-TWELFTH OF THE AMOUNT OF THE ANNUAL EXEMPTION GRANTED, (B) REIMBURSE, TO THE RECEIVER OF TAXES OF THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION WHICH GRANTED THE EXEMPTION, A PRO-RATED PORTION OF THE TAX ABATEMENT IF HIS OR HER QUALIFYING TENANT SHOULD MOVE DURING THE TAXABLE PERIOD AND (C) PERMIT ALL QUALIFYING TENANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06105-01-9 S. 1808 2
3. A TAX ABATEMENT CERTIFICATE ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF EXEMPTION FOR THE TAXABLE PERIOD SHALL BE ISSUED TO EACH HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD WHO IS ELIGIBLE. COPIES OF THE CERTIFICATE SHALL BE ISSUED TO THE OWNER OF THE REAL PROPERTY CONTAINING THE RENTAL UNIT OF THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE- HOLD AND TO THE RECEIVER OF TAXES OF EACH MUNICIPALITY WHICH HAS GRANTED THE ABATEMENT OF TAXES. THE EXEMPTION FOR THE TAX PERIOD SET IN THE TAX ABATEMENT CERTIFICATE SHALL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL TAXES LEVIED BY THE MUNICIPALITY WHICH GRANTED THE ABATEMENT ON REAL PROPERTY CONTAINING THE RENTAL UNIT. 4. ANY CONVICTION OF HAVING MADE A WILLFUL FALSE STATEMENT IN THE APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND SHALL DISQUALIFY THE APPLICANT SENIOR CITIZEN AND/OR HOMEOWNER FROM FURTHER EXEMPTIONS FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS. 5. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE APPLICABLE TO ALL RENTAL UNITS WHICH COMPLY WITH ALL RELEVANT HOUSING CODES, LOCAL LAWS OR ORDI- NANCES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to real property having a taxable status date on or after such effective date.