Requires the burden of annually establishing that the requirements of the mandatory class non-profit real property tax exemptions have been satisfied to fall upon the owner of the property and must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the exemption from taxation for non-profit organizations
PURPOSE: To place the responsibility of annually establishing that a not-for-profit corporation or association is entitled to real property tax exemptions with such corporation or association.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends section 420-a of the real property tax law by adding a new subdivision 15 to provide that the burden of annually establishing that the requirements of section 420-a have been satisfied shall be upon the owner and must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. Provides that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance shall develop, in consultation with not-for-profit organizations and assessors, guidance documents which shall be used by assessors to determine whether that standard has been met.
EXISTING LAW: While not-for-profit corporations or associations must initially seek the granting of an exemption under Section 420-a. they are not required to do so on an annual basis, nor are they regularly compelled to provide convincing evidence that such exemption should apply.
JUSTIFICATION: This proposed measure is one of a series of bills aimed at reconstructing the framework for granting real property tax exemptions across the state. Based on year 2000 assessment rolls, there are over five million parcels of property in New York State (valued at a total of 1.3 trillion dollars). Of this number, some three million parcels enjoy at least I real property tax exemption. From a taxable status standpoint, about 1/3 of the total value of property in New York State (441 billion dollars) is either wholly or partially exempt from real taxation.
The lion's share of real property tax exemptions (around 68%) are state mandated, and while the state has provided some reimbursement to relieve local taxing jurisdictions (i.e. through the STAR program), high levels of tax exemptions can present a serious burden to other property owners who must support the cost of school district, municipal and special district operations.
The State must help provide tools which promote greater accountability from those seeking real property exemptions in order to balance public needs and benefits. This specific legislation offers such a tool by seeking to ensure that organizations which seek tax exemption truly met those public purposes, and that lands receiving relief from
real property taxation are being fully used in support of such purposes.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.8474 of 2010: Referred to Rules S.498 of 2007: Referred to Rules S.3926 of 2005: Referred to Rules S.1123 of 2003: Died on Third Reading Calendar
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined, however, it is anticipated the bill will offer improved local oversight of exemptions, with a salutary effect on school, municipal and special district (i.e. fire protection) tax rolls.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law and would apply to assessment rolls prepared on the basis of taxable status dates occurring on or after such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2545--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. BONACIC, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- recommitted to the Committee on Local Government in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the exemption from taxation for non-profit organizations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 420-a of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: 15. IN ALL INSTANCES, THE BURDEN OF ANNUALLY ESTABLISHING THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN SATISFIED SHALL BE UPON THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY AND MUST BE PROVEN BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP, IN CONSULTATION WITH NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZA- TIONS AND ASSESSORS, GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS TO BE USED BY ASSESSORS IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE STANDARD OF PROOF ESTABLISHED BY THIS SUBDIVI- SION HAS BEEN MET. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to assessment rolls prepared on the basis of taxable status dates occurring on or after such date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01897-02-2