Provides that charges for counsel or experts designated by the attorney general in proceedings to review special franchise assessments shall be borne by the state and not the assessing unit.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to charges for counsel or experts in certain review proceedings
PURPOSE: To provide that the state shall bear costs associated with the review of special franchise assessments established by the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS).
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend section 742 of the real property tax law to remove provisions requiring the state to recoup from municipalities counsel expert fees incurred by the State Board of Real Property Services in proceedings to review special franchise assessments and to specify that such fees shall be borne by the state.
JUSTIFICATION: The Office of Real Property Services establishes special franchise assessments annually on behalf of local governments. The special franchise owner (public utility companies) may challenge these assessments through a proceeding to review a special franchise assessment and under current law, counsel and expert fees incurred by the state in such proceedings are charged to the municipality in which the special franchise property is located.
Because the municipality in which the special franchise property is located does not establish the amount of the special franchise assessment, it seems inequitable to require the municipality to pay counsel and expert fees associated with the defense of such assessments, particularly given that the municipality does not have input on whether or not such fees are incurred on or any other aspects of the defense of these assessments. When a municipality sets assessments, the municipality is responsible for defending such assessments and the costs associated therewith. Similarly, when the state establishes an assessment, the state should be responsible for costs incurred in the defense of such an assessment. Accordingly, this bill would remove provisions requiring municipalities to pay counsel and expert fees associated with the defense of special franchise assessments and would require that these expenses be borne by the State.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.3045 of 2009-10; S.2646 of 2007-08.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2386 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 19, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. SEWARD, LARKIN, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to charges for counsel or experts in certain review proceedings THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 742 of the real property tax law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 732 of the laws of 1983, the section heading and subdivision 1 as further amended by section 1 of part W of chapter 56 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: S 742. Appearance by commissioner in proceeding to review a special franchise assessment.
[1.]In any proceeding to review a special fran- chise assessment, the commissioner may appear by counsel designated by the attorney general. The attorney general or such counsel may employ experts. The compensation of such counsel and experts and their neces- sary expenses incurred in such proceeding and upon any appeal therein shall be BORNE BY THE STATE AND SHALL NOT BE a charge upon the assessing unit upon whose rolls appears the assessment sought to be reviewed [and the amount thereof shall be audited, allowed and paid in the same manner as other claims against the assessing unit. Where the assessment of a special franchise in more than one assessing unit is reviewed in one proceeding, separate accounts for such compensation and expenses shall be rendered to the proper officer of each of the assessing units. Any charge imposed pursuant to this subdivision shall be limited to proceedings commenced by a special franchise owner. 2. If provision has not been made for the payment of such expense in any year, the officers who are empowered by law to make such provisions in any assessing unit shall raise such amount as may be necessary in any manner provided by law and shall pay such expense therefrom]. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. S LBD05747-02-1