Provides for the granting of real property tax abatements due to catastrophic loss caused by a natural disaster.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the abatement of taxes due to a catastrophic loss caused by a natural disaster
PURPOSE: To establish in the Real Property Tax Law a procedure to abate real property taxes for those homeowners that have suffered a catastrophic loss due to damage caused by a declared natural disaster. Such catastrophic loss must make such damaged residence uninhabitable for at least 90 days after such a catastrophic weather event or natural disaster.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Creates a new Title 2-A to the Real Property Tax Law to establish an abatement of real property taxes in the case of a catastrophic loss to a one, two or three family residence, that is owner occupied, that is caused by a declared natural disaster. This provision shall only apply to one, two or three family residences that are owner occupied that are totally destroyed or in which one or more of the units of such residence have been extensively damaged. The home, or at least one unit within the residence, will have had to have been rendered totally uninhabitable for at least 90 days after the declared natural disaster has occurred and cannot be reasonably made fit for habitation within the 90 day period of time after the natural disaster. In addition, the damage to such residential property must have occurred within 9 months after the close of the final municipal real property assessment roll.
The claim for such an abatement must be filed with the municipal assessor within 11 months of the completion of the final assessment role. If such abatement is granted, the taxpayer shall have their real property reappraised to reflect the catastrophic loss and shall pay the reduced tax levy and all penalties and interest shall be waived. The assessors board must issue a decision on the tax abatement within two months after the last day for filing a claim has occurred.
The bill adds a new section 548-d to require New York State to reimburse the local government for the real property tax lost due for persons who apply for a real property talc abatement pursuant to this provision. The reason being, that the local municipality in which the natural disaster has occurred is also, most probably, financially stressed due to the natural disaster that occurred within its jurisdiction. This provision ensures that such local government will continue to have the tax revenue that it planned to spend for that fiscal year.
Section 2: Effective date.
EXISTING LAW: Under current law, there is no abatement procedure to reduce real property taxes for a home owner that has experienced a catastrophic loss of their home that occurred immediately after the deadline for establishing the municipal real property tax roll assessments for the next fiscal year. Such real property tax rolls close in March of every year.
JUSTIFICATION: Recently, many homeowners in New York State either lost their homes or such homes were made inhabitable for more than 90 days due to Super-storm Sandy. In addition to bearing the loss of their home, these families have been required to pay their full real property taxes because the damage due to Super storm Sandy occurred six months after the close of the real property assessments for that taxable year. Under current law, the reasoning for this outcome is that the taxpayer will see a substantial reduction of their taxes in the following tax year when the property is reassessed downward to reflect the reduced value of such residence. However, some of these residence may be rehabilitated or a new home constructed on the site before the next year's tax rolls are closed, which will result in an even higher tax assessment next year. Therefore, at no time will the property owner receive an abatement for their truly tragic loss, and they may in the end pay more in real property taxes than they would have if no such catastrophic loss occurred at all. Families in this situation, after the event, face a cash crunch of having no place to live, mounting debts, and other emotional stress. At least, these families should have the ability to petition their local government to reduce real property taxes to reflect the true diminished value of their home.
This bill provides for a procedure so that for eleven months after the close of the tax assessment rolls, a property owner that has experienced a catastrophic loss can file an application to reduce their tax assessment so that it reflects the true value of the parcel. This bill, if enacted into law, would help to reduce the economic stress experienced by families that have lost their home, their possessions, and perhaps loved ones due to a natural disaster that has reduced their home to rubble.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect retroactively to January 1, 2013.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3855 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- 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 the abatement of taxes due to a catastrophic loss caused by a natural disaster THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Article 5 of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new title 2-A to read as follows: TITLE 2-A ABATEMENT OF TAXES DUE TO A CATASTROPHIC LOSS CAUSED BY A NATURAL DISASTER SECTION 548. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS. 548-A. DEFINITIONS. 548-B. CATASTROPHIC LOSS TAX ABATEMENT PROCEDURE. 548-C. COORDINATION WITH SCHOOL AND VILLAGE TAX LEVIES. 548-D. ABATEMENT; STATE EXPENSE. S 548. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER PROVISIONS. THE PROVISIONS OF TITLES ONE-A AND THREE OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL APPLY TO THIS TITLE INSOFAR AS THEY ARE NOT INCONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS AND PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, WHICH SHALL SUPERSEDE ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF SUCH TITLES ONE-A AND THREE. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE SHALL APPLY TO TAXES LEVIED BY ALL MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS ONLY UPON A ONE, TWO OR THREE FAMI- LY RESIDENCE. S 548-A. DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE: 1. A FAMILY RESIDENCE HAS UNDERGONE A "CATASTROPHIC LOSS" WHEN IT IS TOTALLY DESTROYED OR IS SO EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED THAT AT LEAST ONE OF THE DWELLING UNITS IN SUCH RESIDENCE IS UNFIT FOR HABITATION AND CANNOT REASONABLY BE MADE FIT FOR HABITATION WITHIN A PERIOD OF NINETY DAYS AFTER THE DAMAGE OCCURRED. SUCH CATASTROPHIC LOSS SHALL BE THE CONSE- QUENCE OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY A NATURAL DISASTER OR OTHER WEATHER-BASED EVENT WHICH WAS A DECLARED STATE DISASTER EMERGENCY OR LOCAL STATE OFEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08513-02-3 S. 3855 2
EMERGENCY PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWO-B OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A HURRICANE, WIND STORM, ICE STORM, STORM SURGE, FLOOD, WILDFIRE, EARTHQUAKE, TORNADO, HIGH WATER, LANDSLIDE, MUDSLIDE OR WAVE ACTION. 2. "FAMILY RESIDENCE" MEANS AN OWNER-OCCUPIED ONE, TWO OR THREE UNIT RESIDENTIAL DWELLING. S 548-B. CATASTROPHIC LOSS TAX ABATEMENT PROCEDURE. 1. THE PROPERTY OWNER OF A FAMILY RESIDENCE WHICH HAS UNDERGONE A CATASTROPHIC LOSS SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR A CATASTROPHIC LOSS TAX ABATEMENT IF SUCH CATASTROPHIC LOSS OCCURRED WITHIN NINE MONTHS AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE FINAL ASSESSMENT ROLL. 2. SUCH A CLAIM MUST BE FILED WITH THE ASSESSOR OR BOARD OF ASSESSORS WITHIN ELEVEN MONTHS AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE FINAL ASSESSMENT ROLL. A STATEMENT OF THE FACTS CONSTITUTING THE BASIS OF THE CLAIM SHALL BE FILED ON A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSIONER. SUCH STATEMENT SHALL BE MADE BY THE OWNER OF THE REAL PROPERTY, OR BY A PERSON AUTHORIZED IN WRITING BY THE CLAIMANT OR HIS OR HER ATTORNEY OR AGENT TO MAKE SUCH STATEMENT WHO HAS KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS STATED THEREIN. SUCH WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION SHALL BE MADE A PART OF SUCH STATEMENT. SUCH STATEMENT SHALL ALSO CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE: "I CERTIFY THAT ALL STATE- MENTS MADE ON THIS APPLICATION ARE TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE AND BELIEF AND I UNDERSTAND THAT THE MAKING OF ANY WILLFULLY FALSE STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACT HEREIN WILL SUBJECT ME TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE PENAL LAW RELEVANT TO THE MAKING AND FILING OF FALSE INSTRUMENTS." UPON THE FILING OF SUCH STATEMENT, ALL COLLECTION OF TAX EFFORTS SHALL BE SUSPENDED AND THE ACCRUAL OF INTEREST OR PENALTIES OR BOTH SHALL ALSO BE SUSPENDED. IF THE CLAIM IS SUSTAINED, NO INTEREST OR PENALTY SHALL BE DUE, AND ANY INTEREST OR PENALTY PAID PRIOR TO THE FILING OF THE STATEMENT SHALL BE REFUNDED. IF THE CLAIM IS DENIED, ALL COLLECTION OF TAX EFFORTS SHALL RESUME, AND INTEREST OR PENALTIES OR BOTH SHALL RESUME THEIR ACCRUAL RETROACTIVELY TO THE DATE OF SUSPEN- SION. 3. THE CLAIM SHALL BE HEARD AND DETERMINED BY THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW OR ASSESSMENT REVIEW COMMISSION, AS THE CASE MAY BE. THE PROCEEDINGS IN HEARING AND DETERMINING THE CLAIM SHALL BE MODIFIED AS NECESSARY TO SERVE THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE AND SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER. ALL CLAIMS SHALL BE HEARD AND DECIDED NOT LATER THAN TWO MONTHS AFTER THE LAST DAY FOR FILING A CLAIM. 4. UPON THE DETERMINATION OF A CLAIM, THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW OR ASSESSMENT REVIEW COMMISSION, AS THE CASE MAY BE, SHALL GIVE NOTICE OF THE DETERMINATION TO THE ASSESSOR OR BOARD OF ASSESSORS AND THE CLAIMANT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF SUCH DETERMINATION. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY INCONSISTENT PROVISION OF LAW, IF THE CLAIM IS DETERMINED TO BE IN FAVOR OF THE CLAIMANT, THE ASSESSOR OR BOARD OF ASSESSORS SHALL CORRECT THE TENTATIVE ASSESSMENT ROLL, FINAL ASSESSMENT ROLL OR TAX ROLL, AS THE CASE MAY BE, WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF RECEIVING SUCH NOTICE. S 548-C. COORDINATION WITH SCHOOL AND VILLAGE TAX LEVIES. THE COMMIS- SIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO COORDINATE ASSESSMENT ROLLS AND TAX LEVIES OF COUNTIES, CITIES AND TOWNS WITH THOSE OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND VILLAGES. S 548-D. ABATEMENT; STATE EXPENSE. 1. THE ABATEMENT GRANTED TO A PROP- ERTY OWNER PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE SHALL BE A STATE CHARGE, WHICH SHALL BE PAYABLE AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. 2. A TAXING AUTHORITY SEEKING STATE AID PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL SUBMIT AN APPLICATION THEREFOR TO THE COMMISSIONER. THE APPLICATION SHALL INCLUDE SUCH INFORMATION AS THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REQUIRE.S. 3855 3
3. UPON APPROVING AN APPLICATION FOR STATE AID PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL COMPUTE AND CERTIFY THE AMOUNTS PAYABLE TO A TAXING AUTHORITY. SUCH STATE AID SHALL BE PAYABLE UPON THE AUDIT AND WARRANT OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect on and after January 1, 2013; provided that any and all rules and regulations and any other measures necessary to implement any provision of this act shall be promulgated and taken on an emergency basis, respectively, within 30 days after this act shall have become a law.