Bill S5361-2011

Authorizes the city of New Rochelle to impose certain taxes on utilities

Authorizes the city of New Rochelle to impose certain taxes on utilities.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • May 11, 2011: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5361

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general city law, in relation to authorizing the city of New Rochelle to impose certain taxes on utilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Currently, any city of this state is authorized to impose a gross receipts tax on utilities at a rate not exceeding one percent of gross income or of gross operating income, as the case may be, except that Rochester, Buffalo and Yonkers have the authority to impose a gross receipts tax on utilities at a rate not exceeding three percent of gross income or gross operating income. This bill increases to three percent the maximum authorized gross receipts tax that the city of New Rochelle may impose on utilities, making the maximum level for New Rochelle commensurate with the authorizations already in effect for Rochester, Buffalo and Yonkers.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the opening paragraph of section 20-b of the general city law, as amended by chapter 287 of the laws of 1979, to increase the maximum gross receipts tax that New Rochelle may impose on utilities to three percent of gross income or gross operating income, adding New Rochelle to Rochester, Buffalo and Yonkers, all of which are authorized to impose a gross receipts tax at a rate not exceeding three percent. Subject to those exceptions, Section 1 provides that any city of this state, acting through its local legislative body, is authorized to impose a gross receipts tax on utilities at a rate not exceeding one percent of gross income or gross operating income. Section 1 further provides that it does not prevent any city from adopting laws to exempt from the gross receipts tax omnibus corporations subject to the supervision of the state department of public service. Section 1 also amends the opening paragraph of section 20-b by deleting a reference to article 3-a of the public service law, which has been repealed.

Section 2 provides the effective date, which is immediate.

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation will allow a new tax imposition within territorial limits of the city of New Rochelle. The city has requested this authorization from the state legislature to impose additional taxes on utilities not to exceed three percent of gross income or gross operating income.

Section 20-b of the General City Law authorizes cities to impose a gross receipts tax on the sale of utilities, not, exceeding one percent of gross income, for transactions within their territorial limits. Subsequent legislation authorized the cities of Yonkers,

Rochester and Buffalo to impose the gross receipts tax at a rate not to exceed three percent.

New Rochelle's local government is working to maintain critical services in a difficult economy, without further burdening hard-pressed property taxpayers. The option to increase the local utility gross receipts tax rate will provide the city of New Rochelle with much-needed fiscal flexibility as it confronts budget challenges.

The gross receipts tax on utilities is, in certain respects, more fair and less onerous than the property tax. It distributes the burden of taxation more broadly, rather than concentrating the tax burden only on property taxpayers. Further, because it is based on the consumer's level of utility usage, it allows ratepayers some control over their own costs through efficiency and waste reduction. This has the added environmental benefit of providing an incentive for energy and resource conservation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state. Additional revenues to the city of New Rochelle.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5361 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 11, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. OPPENHEIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommu- nications AN ACT to amend the general city law, in relation to authorizing the city of New Rochelle to impose certain taxes on utilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The opening paragraph of section 20-b of the general city law, as amended by chapter 287 of the laws of 1979, is amended to read as follows: Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, any city of this state, acting through its local legislative body, is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt and amend local laws imposing in any such city a tax such as was imposed by section one hundred eighty-six-a of the tax law, in effect on January first, nineteen hundred fifty-nine, except that the rate thereof shall not exceed one per centum of gross income or of gross operating income, as the case may be, and may make provision for the collection thereof by the chief fiscal officer of such city; provided, however, that the rate of such tax imposed by the cities of Rochester, Buffalo [and], Yonkers AND NEW ROCHELLE shall not exceed three per centum of gross income or gross operating income, as the case may be; and provided further that nothing herein contained shall be construed so as to prevent any city from adopting local laws exempting from such tax omnibus corporations subject to the supervision of the state department of public service [under article three-a of the public service law]. A tax imposed pursuant to this section shall have applica- tion only within the territorial limits of any such city, and shall be in addition to any and all other taxes. This section shall not authorize the imposition of a tax on any transaction originating or consummated outside of the territorial limits of any such city, notwithstanding that some act be necessarily performed with respect to such transaction with- in such limits. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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