Allows temporary inter-fund advances by river regulating districts.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to inter-fund advances by river regulating districts
PURPOSE: To specifically authorize the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District to temporarily advance monies between funds, thereby enabling the District to pay the real property taxes it currently owes to local school districts.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill adds a new subdivision 3 to Section 15-2141 of the Environmental Conservation Law. This new subdivision authorizes the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District to temporarily advance monies held in any fund to any other fund of the district. It also provides that such transfers shall be authorized by resolution of the Board and approved by the State Comptroller. The bill further provides that such moneys shall be repaid as soon as available (but in no event later than the close of the next succeeding budget cycle), and that such amount shall include an amount reasonably estimated to be the additional amount that would have been earned on the investment of such moneys had the advance not been made.
EXISTING LAW: Current law is devoid of specific authority permitting the advance of monies from one fund of a regulating district to another fund maintained by that same regulating district.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill would authorize the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District to temporarily advance monies between its accounts.
This legislation is necessary to enable the District to pay the real property taxes it owes to several schools located around the Great Sacandaga Lake and its watershed. The District has not yet paid its school taxes for the current year, and this is placing a significant strain and burden on these school districts.
A recent federal court decision has resulted in a temporary disruption in the revenue stream for the Regulating District's Hudson River operations. In order to address this temporary disruption and be able to pay its bills -- especially its real property taxes to local schools -- the District sought to make a temporary transfer of funds between accounts. In the past, the District had made such an advance to assist the Black River operations, and it sought to make a similar transfer this time in order to assist the Hudson River operations. However, the State Comptroller's Office raised questions about the authority to make such transfers.
Instead, the Comptroller's Office suggested that the District seek legislation to specifically authorize such fund transfers. This bill
would provide specific legal authority for such transfers, subject to the approval of the State Comptroller's Office.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.10135 (2009-2010)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This legislation is necessary to ensure that local school districts are paid the property taxes. they are owed by the Regulating District.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 2979 A. 4520 2011-2012 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y February 4, 2011 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. FARLEY, LITTLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. BUTLER -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. SAYWARD -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environ- mental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to inter-fund advances by river regulating districts THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 15-2141 of the environmental conservation law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 55 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: S 15-2141. Hudson River Regulating District and Black River Regulating District: funds of the board. 1. Notwithstanding the consolidation of the Hudson River Regulating District and the Black River Regulating District into a single district, effectuated by this title, or any other provision of THIS title
[21 of this article], moneys constituting the respective "general fund" or "debt service fund" or other fund or funds of either the Hudson River Regulating Board or District or the Black River Regulating Board or District, shall remain and be kept separate and apart and shall be applied for the cost of maintenance and operation in the area of the appropriate district and to pay the debts and obligations of the appro- priate board or district, on whose account such moneys were received. 2. Notwithstanding any provision of sections 15-2137 and 15-2139 or any other provision of THIS title [21 of this article], all moneys here- after received by the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District and its board, as consolidated, by reason of assessments or from the sale of obligations issued or from other source, all for the purposes of theEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08420-01-1 S. 2979 2 A. 4520
respective areas heretofore comprising the Hudson River Regulating District or the Black River Regulating District, shall be kept separate and apart and shall constitute "general funds" and "debt service funds" and other fund or funds with the same force and effect as funds hereto- fore constituted by the Hudson River Regulating Board or District and by the Black River Regulating Board or District and shall be applied solely for the cost of maintenance and operation in the respective areas from which the moneys were received and to pay the debts and obligations accrued or as they become due in the areas where the debts and obli- gations were incurred, provided, however, that the expenses of the board, as consolidated by this part, and of its officers and employees shall be paid from the appropriate "general funds" in the same propor- tion as moneys are annually collected from the respective areas. The provisions of section 15-2129, in so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent herewith, shall apply as they relate to the "general fund", "debt service fund", and to the fund or funds of the district. 3. THE HUDSON RIVER-BLACK RIVER REGULATING DISTRICT, NOTWITHSTANDING THIS SECTION, OR ANY OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE, MAY TEMPORARILY ADVANCE MONIES HELD IN ANY FUND TO ANY OTHER FUND OF THE REGULATING DISTRICT. ANY SUCH TEMPORARY ADVANCE SHALL BE AUTHORIZED BY RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD AND APPROVED BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER. MONEYS TEMPORARILY ADVANCED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE REPAID TO THE FUND FROM WHICH THEY WERE ADVANCED AS SOON AS AVAILABLE, BUT IN NO EVENT LATER THAN THE CLOSE OF THE NEXT SUCCEEDING REGULATING DISTRICT BUDGET CYCLE FOLLOWING THE CLOSE OF THE BUDGET CYCLE IN WHICH THE ADVANCE WAS MADE. IF MONEYS FROM A FUND WHICH, IF RAISED BY TAXES, SPECIAL AD VALOREM LEVIES OR SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS, WOULD BE RAISED FROM TAXES, SPECIAL AD VALOREM LEVIES OR SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS ON A DIFFERENT BASE OF PROPERTIES THAN THOSE FOR WHICH TAXES, AD VALOREM LEVIES OR SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS WOULD BE RAISED FOR THE FUND TO WHICH THE ADVANCE IS MADE, THE REPAYMENT SHALL INCLUDE AN AMOUNT REASONABLY ESTIMATED TO BE THE ADDITIONAL AMOUNT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN EARNED ON THE INVESTMENT OF MONEYS IN THE FUND MAKING THE ADVANCE HAD THE ADVANCE NOT BEEN MADE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.