Makes certain tax abatement forms more readily available to seniors and authorizes certain entities to assist in the completion of such forms.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to making certain tax abatement forms more readily available to seniors and authorizing certain entities to assist in the completion of such forms
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would encourage a decentralization of services and assistance related to the senior citizen rent increase exemption (SCRIE) and disabled rent increase exemption (DRIE) program by requiring that forms and assistance be made available to applicants and participants in the community.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1. This section establishes the definition of "supervising agency" as the municipal agency administering the SCRIE/DRIE program to simplify further changes to the statute.
Section 2. This section would require the development and implementation of a plan to make participating in the SCRIE/DRIE program easier for applicants and participants in the community. This plan would include:
* Partnering with community-based organizations and other municipal agencies to make forms and assistance with completing those forms available in community settings;
* Providing training for individuals in the partnering organizations in assisting with SCRIE/DRIE forms;
* Authorizing partnering organizations to accept forms on behalf of applicants and participants and file them with the supervising agency; and
* Making direct contact information for the supervising agency available so applicants and participants could call with questions.
Section 3. This section would make a corresponding change to the statute to ensure that the supervising agency would accept forms from applicants and participants filed on their behalf by a partnering organization.
Section 4. Effective Date.
JUSTIFICATION: The change in administration of the SCRIE program in New York City from the Department for the Aging (DFTA) to the Department of Finance (DOF) has resulted in a closed door system that makes it difficult for seniors to get help. The only contact information for DOF is 311, and their customer service window is in Manhattan. Seniors live across the city in communities where it is a hardship to travel to the next neighborhood, let alone another borough. Many seniors are frail and physically unable to travel further than their local senior center.
It is important that seniors not be excluded from the program due to the very limitations that cause them to need assistance.
De-centralization of services and assistance will ensure that everything a senior needs to participate in the program is available in their community. They will have the forms and assistance they need to make sure they can fully participate in the program.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 S.6593/A.9204, passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6761 IN SENATE March 6, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. GOLDEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to making certain tax abatement forms more readily available to seniors and authorizing certain entities to assist in the completion of such forms THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 467-b of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new paragraph g to read as follows: G. "SUPERVISING AGENCY" SHALL MEAN THE APPROPRIATE RENT CONTROL AGENCY OR ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY DESIGNATED TO ADMINISTER THE TAX ABATEMENT FOR RENT-CONTROLLED AND RENT REGULATED PROPERTY OCCUPIED BY SENIOR CITIZENS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES PURSUANT TO A LOCAL LAW, RESOLUTION, OR ORDINANCE PASSED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. S 2. Section 467-b of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3-a to read as follows: 3-A. THE SUPERVISING AGENCY SHALL DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A PLAN THAT WILL INCREASE THE ABILITY OF APPLICANTS AND PARTICIPANTS TO OBTAIN AND COMPLETE ITS FORMS IN A COMMUNITY SETTING. ADDITIONALLY, THE SUPERVISING AGENCY SHALL MAKE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPLETION OF SUCH FORMS. SUCH PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: A. PARTNERING WITH ORGANIZATIONS, WHERE AVAILABLE, THAT ENGAGE IN OUTREACH AND PROVIDE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES TO SENIORS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY TO MAKE SUCH FORMS AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL APPLICANTS AND CURRENT PARTIC- IPANTS, AS WELL AS PROVIDING ASSISTANCE WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPLETION OF SUCH FORMS. ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE CONTACT WITH SENIORS IN THE COMMUNITY SHALL INCLUDE, WHERE APPLICABLE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO SENIOR CENTERS, COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITY BOARDS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED OF THE NEW YORK CITY CHARTER, NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION COMPANIES ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIXTEEN OF THE PRIVATE HOUSING FINANCE LAW, AND RURAL PRESERVATION CORPORATIONS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVENTEEN OF THE PRIVATE HOUSING FINANCE LAW;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06222-01-3 S. 6761 2
B. PARTNERING WITH OTHER MUNICIPAL ENTITIES OR AGENCIES TO DISSEMINATE INFORMATION AND FORMS FOR THE TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAM AS WELL AS PROVIDE ASSISTANCE WITH THE COMPLETION OF SUCH FORMS; C. PROVIDING TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS IN SUCH PARTNERING ORGANIZA- TIONS, ENTITIES, AND AGENCIES TO ASSIST INDIVIDUALS IN COMPLETING SUCH FORMS FOR THE TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAM; D. AUTHORIZING ORGANIZATIONS, ENTITIES, OR AGENCIES THAT OFFER ASSIST- ANCE WITH FORMS PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION TO ACCEPT COMPLETED FORMS FROM APPLICANTS AND PARTICIPANTS AND FORWARD THEM TO THE SUPERVISING AGENCY. THE SUPERVISING AGENCY SHALL TREAT SUCH FORMS AS IF THEY HAD BEEN RECEIVED DIRECTLY FROM THE APPLICANT OR PARTICIPANT; AND E. PROVIDING DIRECT CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE OFFICE OF THE SUPER- VISING AGENCY TO APPLICANTS AND PARTICIPANTS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS REGARD- ING THE PROGRAM. S 3. Subdivision 4 of section 467-b of the real property tax law, as amended by chapter 651 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: 4. The head of the household must apply every two years to the appro- priate rent control agency or administrative agency for a tax abatement certificate on a form prescribed by said agency. SUCH FORM SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY ORGANIZATION, ENTITY, OR AGENCY PARTNERING WITH THE SUPERVISING AGENCY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE-A OF THIS SECTION. ANY COMPLETED APPLICATION RECEIVED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH D OF SUBDIVI- SION THREE-A OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE TREATED AS IF IT HAD BEEN RECEIVED DIRECTLY FROM THE APPLICANT OR PARTICIPANT. A tax abatement certificate setting forth an amount not in excess of the increase in maximum rent or legal regulated rent for the taxable period or such other amount as shall be determined under subdivision three of this section shall be issued by said agency to each head of the household who is found to be eligible under this section on or before the last date prescribed by law for the payment of the taxes or the first installment thereof of any municipal corporation which has granted an abatement of taxes. Copies of such certificate shall be issued to the owner of the real property containing the dwelling unit of the head of the household and to the collecting officer charged with the duty of collecting the taxes of each municipal corporation which has granted the abatement of taxes author- ized by this section. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the amend- ments to section 467-b of the real property tax law made by sections one, two and three of this act shall not affect the expiration of such section and shall be deemed to expire therewith.