Provides additional rent protection for senior citizens where their rent is more than one-half of their income; additional protection, not a substitute for rent protection.
BILL NUMBER: S7539
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to adding rent protection to senior citizens where their rent is more than one-half of their income
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
This bill would amend the SCRIE (Senior citizen Rent Increase Exemption) statutes to protect an additional category of senior citizen tenants,who do not fall within current statutory income limitations, but who nonetheless are being subjected to rent increases that constitute an unaffordable proportion of their incomes and therefore need protection.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
Section one of the bill amends section 467-b of the Real property Tax Law (RPTL), relating to rent controlled and rent regulated dwellings, by adding a new subdivision 10 that permits a locality to adopt a local law that provides additional protection for an expanded category of senior citizens. Section 2 of the bill makes a similar amendment to RPTL §467-c, relating to Mitchell-Lama dwellings.
Current law permits this benefit to be adopted for senior citizen households that have combined household incomes under a specific income cap, set out in the statute, and that also have rents that exceed one third of household income. The amendments made by sections one and two of this bill would permit localities to extend similar protection to senior citizen households for which a rent increase would cause the rent to exceed one half of household income, without regard to the income caps that apply to situations where rent exceeds one third of household income.
Section three of the bill is the effective date.
Current law authorizes adoption of local laws to protect senior citizen tenants who: 1) have combined household incomes under a specific income cap, set out on a yearly basis in the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL), and 2) have rents that will increase to exceed one third of the household income. Unfortunately, in New York City and some surrounding areas, rents -- even regulated rents - have become so high that some senior citizens whose incomes exceed the statutory income limitations find themselves paying an unaffordable percentage of their incomes for rent. This bill would therefore permit localities to extend additional protection to such people, without in any way changing or diminishing the protection that is already in place for senior citizen households whose income falls below the statutory caps.
An analysis of data from the 2005 New York City Housing Vacancy Survey performed by the Community Service Society found that if the change proposed by this bill were to be made, an additional approximately 1100 households would qualify for the benefit. It should also be noted that, under current law, only approximately one third of eligible households have applied for and received the benefit, so it can be anticipated that not all newly eligible households would apply if this bill were to become law. However, those in need of protection would be able to apply for it.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : A.10759 (2008)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7539 IN SENATE April 20, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- 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 adding rent protection to senior citizens where their rent is more than one-half of their income THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 467-b of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to read as follows: 10. A. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISIONS TWO AND THREE OF THIS SECTION, OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, AND IN ADDITION TO ANY EXISTING SENIOR CITIZEN RENT EXEMPTION, THE GOVERNING BODY OF ANY CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO ADOPT, AFTER PUBLIC HEARING, A LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE OR RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE ABATEMENT OF TAXES OF SAID MUNICIPAL CORPORATION IMPOSED ON REAL PROPER- TY CONTAINING A DWELLING UNIT AS DEFINED IN THIS SECTION BY AN AMOUNT NOT IN EXCESS OF THAT PORTION OF ANY INCREASE IN MAXIMUM RENT WHICH CAUSES SUCH MAXIMUM RENT TO EXCEED ONE-HALF OF THE COMBINED INCOME OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD, WHERE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD IS A PERSON SIXTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. B. ANY SUCH LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE OR RESOLUTION ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH A OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SHALL PROVIDE THAT FOR A DWELLING UNIT WHERE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD QUALIFIES AS A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE OF THIS SECTION, NO TAX ABATEMENT SHALL BE GRANTED IF THE COMBINED INCOME FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD FOR THE CURRENT INCOME TAX YEAR EXCEEDS THE MAXIMUM INCOME AT WHICH SUCH HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD WOULD NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE CASH SUPPLEMENTAL SECURI- TY INCOME BENEFITS UNDER FEDERAL LAW DURING SUCH TAX YEAR. S 2. Section 467-c of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 13 to read as follows: 13. A. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBDIVISIONS TWO AND THREE OF THIS SECTION OR ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, AND IN ADDITION TO ANY EXISTING SENIOR CITIZEN RENT EXEMPTION, THE GOVERNING BODY OF ANY CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE, ACTING THROUGH ITS LOCALEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00087-01-9 S. 7539 2
LEGISLATIVE BODY OR OTHER GOVERNING AGENCY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO ADOPT AND AMEND LOCAL LAWS OR ORDINANCES PROVIDING THAT REAL PROPERTY OF A HOUSING COMPANY SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM REAL PROPERTY TAXES, IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE RENT INCREASE EXEMPTIONS ACTUALLY CRED- ITED TO ELIGIBLE HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. ANY SUCH EXEMPTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER EXEMPTION OR ABATEMENT OF TAXES AUTHORIZED BY LAW. B. ANY SUCH LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE SHALL PROVIDE THAT A HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD SIXTY-TWO YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER MAY OBTAIN A RENT INCREASE EXEMPTION ORDER/TAX ABATEMENT CERTIFICATE ENTITLING HIM OR HER TO AN EXEMPTION FROM INCREASES IN THE MAXIMUM RENT OTHERWISE PAYABLE WHERE THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD DOES NOT RECEIVE A MONTHLY ALLOWANCE FOR SHELTER PURSUANT TO THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, THE AMOUNT BY WHICH INCREASES IN THE MAXIMUM RENT SUBSEQUENT TO SUCH PERSON'S ELIGIBILITY DATE HAVE RESULTED IN THE MAXIMUM RENT EXCEEDING ONE-HALF OF THE COMBINED INCOME OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD FOR THE TAXABLE PERIOD. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided however that the amendments to section 467-b of the real property tax law made by section one of this act shall survive the expiration and reversion of such section as provided in section 17 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974, as amended.