Relates to making real property tax receipts available online.
Ayes (7): Stewart-Cousins, Oppenheimer, Valesky, Thompson, Johnson C, Little, Bonacic
Excused (1): Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S7677
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to providing tax receipts electronically
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : Relates to allowing taxpayers the opportunity to elect to receive their tax receipts electronically.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1. Section 955 of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3-a to read as follows:
3-a. (a) The collecting officer shall deliver or mail the receipt required under subdivision three of this section unless a taxpayer requests to receive such receipt electronically, in which case the collecting officer shall make an electronic receipt available to the taxpayer. The collecting officer shall notify all taxpayers that any availability of electronic receipts does not preclude a taxpayer from electing to receive a copy of his or her tax receipt in the mail of in person.
(b) The provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall apply only to a city, town, or village which by local law provides that electronic availability of such receipts shall be an authorized means of delivery.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION : Traditionally, municipalities have relied heavily on the mail to deliver required property tax receipts to taxpayers paying through an escrow agent. At times, this can be problematic due to theft of mail that can result in identity theft, and is often economically infeasible because of the continual cost of paper, envelopes and postage.
In addition, because current law requires that receipt be sent within three weeks of payment (which occurs at various times during the year), taxpayers receive their receipts throughout the year. As a result, many taxpayers do not have these essential records available when they prepare their State and Federal returns for filing. Since payments are made by third parties, these taxpayers have no cancelled check to verify these payments. Accordingly, tax offices statewide are flooded with requests for information between February and April.
Taxpayers have consistently asked for this information to be placed securely online so that it is available to them whenever they need it (including weekends and evenings when municipal offices are closed) but especially, whenever they prepare their taxes. Providing access to tax receipts electronically will significantly increase access to these essential documents.
As municipalities across the State allow for various payments online, including parking tickets, recreation programs, water bills and property taxes themselves, the availability of tax receipts online is the next step in increasing accessibility to records and thus service to taxpayers. Major utilities, such a Consolidated Edison, have also made their customers' usage and payment records available online. In addition, within a short time, municipalities who choose to offer receipts online will realize savings due to the elimination of postage, printing and envelop costs.
Please note that this legislation is with an "opt in" approach, which means that all receipts will be done by mail unless requested otherwise by the taxpayer.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : This is new legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7677 IN SENATE April 30, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. OPPENHEIMER -- 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 providing tax receipts electronically THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 955 of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3-a to read as follows: 3-A. (A) THE COLLECTING OFFICER SHALL DELIVER OR MAIL THE RECEIPT REQUIRED UNDER SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION UNLESS A TAXPAYER REQUESTS TO RECEIVE SUCH RECEIPT ELECTRONICALLY, IN WHICH CASE THE COLLECTING OFFICER SHALL MAKE AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT AVAILABLE TO THE TAXPAYER. THE COLLECTING OFFICER SHALL NOTIFY ALL TAXPAYERS THAT ANY AVAILABILITY OF ELECTRONIC RECEIPTS DOES NOT PRECLUDE A TAXPAYER FROM ELECTING TO RECEIVE A COPY OF HIS OR HER TAX RECEIPT IN THE MAIL OR IN PERSON. (B) THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL APPLY ONLY TO A CITY, TOWN, OR VILLAGE WHICH BY LOCAL LAW PROVIDES THAT ELEC- TRONIC AVAILABILITY OF SUCH RECEIPTS SHALL BE AN AUTHORIZED MEANS OF DELIVERY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD17031-01-0