Relates to the sale and lease of certain municipal property for the cultivation and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the general municipal law and the real property tax law, in relation to the sale and lease of certain municipal property for the cultivation and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To allow the sale or lease of certain municipal property for the cultivation and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one sets forth the legislative intent which states that some municipalities have an excess amount of vacant property that is not needed for public use and sometimes present potential problems for the municipality. There is a need to address accessibility and health issues related to fresh produce, this bill is meant to address those issues.
Section two amends the general municipal law by adding a new section 96-c which provides for sale or lease of municipally owned land for the cultivation and sale of fruits and vegetables
Section three amends section 420-a of the real property tax law by adding a new subdivision 15, allowing an exemption from taxation for a nonprofit who uses the land for cultivation and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables, using the net proceeds to further the purpose of the corporation or association.
Section four sets forth the effective date
This bill is meant to encourage nonprofit corporations and associations to help transform vacant properties located in areas within a municipality to turn it into vibrant fields of fruits and vegetables. Municipalities sometimes have vacant parcels of land they are unable to sell. Across the state there are a number of municipalities without wide access to fresh fruits and vegetables because of a lack of a grocery store or fresh food market. By allowing localities to sell or lease land for gardening or produce selling purposes, their citizens will have increased access to healthy foods. This will serve an important public purpose, and therefore this bill provides exemptions for these nonprofits from taxation.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
To be determined
This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5398 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 14, 2015 ___________Introduced by Sen. FUNKE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government AN ACT to amend the general municipal law and the real property tax law, in relation to the sale and lease of certain municipal property for the cultivation and sale of fresh fruits and vegetables THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent and findings. The legislature finds that there exists in certain municipalities an excess of vacant property that is not needed for public use and such vacant properties present numerous problems for these municipalities including presenting the opportunity for criminal activity, deterring neighboring property owners from improving their properties and prospective purchasers and renters from locating into these areas, and serving as a location to dispose of unwanted items. Due, in part, to increasing population densities, the deterioration of infrastructure such as parks, and fiscal constraints, these municipalities have been challenged to offer residents opportu- nities to enhance the quality of their lives. Municipal residents also suffer from a shortage of fruits and vegetables due to the scarcity of full service supermarkets and farmer's markets within certain munici- palities. The shortages of recreational opportunities and sources of fresh fruits and vegetables have contributed to increases in childhood obesity and other adverse health consequences for municipal residents. Authorization for municipalities to lease and sell vacant land to nonprofit entities to cultivate these lands can provide both recreation- al opportunities and a source of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegeta- bles for local residents. The nonprofit cultivation of previously vacant land by nonprofit entities is a public purpose for which the long term lease and sale of these properties, and exemption from property taxation therefor, is warranted, even in those instances when produce is sold to further the mission of these nonprofit entities.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10412-02-5 S. 5398 2
S 2. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new section 96-c to read as follows: S 96-C. SALE OR LEASE OF MUNICIPALLY OWNED LAND FOR THE CULTIVATION AND SALE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL OR LOCAL LAW APPLICABLE TO THE SALE OR LEASE OF REAL PROPERTY BY A MUNICIPALITY, VACANT PUBLIC LAND MAY BE SOLD OR LEASED FOR A CONSIDERATION, WHICH MAY BE NOMINAL, TO A NONPROFIT ORGAN- IZATION TO CULTIVATE AND SELL FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ON OR OFF THE PROPERTY. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "VACANT PUBLIC LAND" SHALL MEAN ANY LAND OWNED BY A MUNICIPALITY THAT IS NOT IN USE FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE, IS OTHERWISE UNOCCUPIED, IDLE OR NOT BEING ACTIVELY UTILIZED FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST SIX MONTHS. 2. ANY DEED, LEASE OR INSTRUMENT BY WHICH REAL PROPERTY IS CONVEYED OR DISPOSED OF PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL CONTAIN PROVISIONS REQUIRING THE PURCHASER OR LESSEE TO USE SUCH PROPERTY FOR PURPOSES CONSISTENT WITH THE CULTIVATION AND SALE OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. 3. A MUNICIPALITY MAY ESTABLISH A PROGRAM IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OR COUNTY EXTENSION ASSOCIATION FOR READY IDEN- TIFICATION OF ACCESSIBLE LAND RESOURCES IN THE MUNICIPALITY AVAILABLE FOR SUCH USE. 4. A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION MAY ASSIST THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUCH PROPERTY BY CONTRIBUTING, OR PROVIDING AT COST, FROM RESOURCES UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE MUNICIPALITY, UPON AGREEMENT WITH THE PURCHASER OR LESSEE OF SUCH LAND AS APPROVED PURSUANT TO THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW: INITIAL SITE PREPA- RATION, INCLUDING TOP SOIL AND GRADING; WATER SYSTEMS; PERIMETER FENC- ING; STORAGE BINS OR SHEDS, AND OTHER NECESSARY APPURTENANCES OR EQUIP- MENT. 5. A MUNICIPALITY SHALL DISCLOSE TO A PURCHASER OR LESSOR OF PROPERTY UNDER THIS SECTION THAT THE MUNICIPALITY HAS NOT CONDUCTED ANY TESTS ON THE SOIL ON THE PROPERTY AND THE MUNICIPALITY DOES NOT KNOW THE CONDI- TION OF THE SOIL AND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE COMPOSITION OF THE SOIL. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TO RELIEVE A MUNICI- PALITY FROM LIABILITY UNDER TITLE FOURTEEN OF ARTICLE TWENTY-SEVEN OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW. S 3. Section 420-a of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: 15. REAL PROPERTY, SOLD PURSUANT TO SECTION NINETY-SIX-C OF THE GENER- AL MUNICIPAL LAW, USED FOR THE CULTIVATION AND SALE OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES BY A CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM TAXA- TION, PROVIDED THAT THE SALE OF SUCH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IS RELATED AND INCIDENTAL TO THE NONPROFIT PURPOSES OF THE CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION AND THE NET PROCEEDS RECEIVED BY THE CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION ARE USED TO FURTHER THE NONPROFIT PURPOSES OF THE CORPORATION OR ASSOCIATION. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.