Bill S881-2011

Provides for a financial exploitation prevention outreach, education and training program and fund

Provides for a financial exploitation, outreach, education and training program and fund.

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Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO AGING
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO AGING

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S881

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to the exemption from taxation for non-profit organizations; and making an appropriation therefor

PURPOSE: To provide for stricter standards in defining the terms used for non-profit organizations, and for ensuring that exempt properties are being used in the manner which supports the specific exemption granted.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends subdivision 1 of section 420-a of the Real Property Tax Law by adding a new paragraph (c) to define the following phrases as related to nonprofit organizations: "organized or conducted exclusively": "used exclusively"; "religious purposes"; "charitable purposes"; "hospital purposes"; "educational purpose"; and "moral or mental improvement of men, women, or children."

Section 2: Amends section 420-b of the Real Property Tax Law by adding a new paragraph (d) to incorporate the aforementioned definitions of: "organized exclusively" and "used exclusively."

Section 3: Adds a new section 420-d to the Real Property Tax Law, authorizing state aid payments to local taxing districts as a reimbursement for revenues lost to such districts as a result of tax exemptions granted to real property parcels actively and exclusively used at least 60 days per year by persons under the age of 21 who are learning skills related to nature, the outdoors and/or personal & civic responsibilities.

Section 4: Appropriates the sum of $10,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary, to the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance from the State General Fund to carry out the provisions of this act.

Section 5: Effective date.

EXISTING LAW: Article XVI of the New York State Constitution provides that property used exclusively (emphasis added) for religious, educational, or charitable purposes shall be exempt from taxation. The Constitution, however, leaves to the State Legislature the power of defining the terms "religious", "educational" and "charitable."

Title 2 of Article 4 of the Real Property Tax Law (Section 420-a in particular) speaks of various types of exempt properties, including "religious", "educational" and "charitable." That section of law exempts those types of properties (as well as others) provided the property is

"used exclusively" for carrying out one or more of the exempt purposes. However, for the purposes of the Real Property Tax Law those terms have not been defined. Since the Legislature has not defined those terms, the Courts have defined them, thus creating existing law which provides for a myriad of exempt properties - even when not "used exclusively" for religious", "educational" or "charitable" purposes.

JUSTIFICATION: Court-developed broadening of what qualifies as an exempt purpose has diminished the strength of the Constitutional provision that real property "used exclusively" for exempt purposes can qualify for an exemption. Courts have, for example, ruled that "used exclusively" actually means the "principal" or "primary" use of a property (Mohonk Trust v. Board of Assessors of Town of Gardiner 46 NY2d 476, 483 (1979)). Courts have also authorized commercial timbering on property - clearly not a tax exempt use but still allowed a tax exemption (In the Matter of Nassau County Council Boy Scouts of America v. Board of Assessors of the Town of Rockland 444 N.Y.S. 2d 755(1981)). That same case said that even if the property is in a state of non-use for much of the year, it is still entitled to the tax exemption. In addition, the Courts have authorized religious exemptions even in cases where the property owner "does not maintain a church, has no clergy and does not conduct religious services" (In the matter of Foundation for "A Course in Miracles", Inc. v. Theadore, as Chairman of the Town of Fremont Board of Assessors. 568 N.Y.S. 2d 666 (1991)).

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

S.2552 of 2012: Died in Senate Finance S.2552 of 2011: Died in Senate Finance S.6836 of 2010: Died in Senate Finance S.1127-A of 2004: Died in Senate Local Government, Died in Assembly Real Property Taxation S.1127-A of 2003: Died on Senate Floor Calendar

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The sum of §10 million, or so much thereof as may be necessary, would be appropriated out of the State General Fund to support reimbursement to local taxing jurisdictions.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined, however, in addition to the grant of state reimbursement for certain exempt properties, it is anticipated the bill will offer improved local oversight of exemptions with a salutary effect on school, municipal and special district (i.e. fire protection) tax rolls.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to

assessment rolls prepared on the basis of taxable status dates occurring on or after such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 881 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. GOLDEN, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the elder law, in relation to financial exploitation of the elderly; and to amend the state finance law, in relation to creat- ing the financial exploitation outreach, education and training fund THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 13 and 14 of section 202 of the elder law, subdivision 13 as amended and subdivision 14 as added by section 24-d of part B of chapter 58 of the laws of 2007, paragraph (a) of subdivision 14 as amended by chapter 319 of the laws of 2010, are amended and a new subdivision 15 is added to read as follows: 13. to conduct a program of education and information on age discrimi- nation and the preparation and filing of complaints relating to persons sixty years of age or older; [and] 14. to, in cooperation with the department of state: (a) prepare or cause to be prepared and made available to cities, towns and villages model zoning and planning guidelines that foster age-integrated communities including provisions to allow for accessory senior citizen units in areas zoned for single family residences and for mixed-use development accommodating senior citizen residential housing; and (b) make recommendations, in consultation with the division of housing and community renewal, to the governor and legislature for assisting mixed-use age-integrated housing development or redevelopment demon- stration projects in urban, suburban and rural areas of the state. The director of the office for the aging and secretary of state shall estab- lish an advisory committee for purposes of this subdivision. Such committee shall include, but not be limited to, top representatives of
local government, senior citizen organizations, developers, senior service providers and planners[.]; AND 15. TO CONDUCT AN OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAM FOR FINAN- CIAL INSTITUTIONS AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION 470.00 OF THE PENAL LAW. S 2. The elder law is amended by adding a new section 219-a to read as follows: S 219-A. FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAM. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "DESIGNATED AGEN- CY" SHALL HAVE THE MEANING ASCRIBED TO IT UNDER SECTION TWO HUNDRED FOURTEEN OF THIS TITLE AND "FINANCIAL INSTITUTION" SHALL HAVE THE MEAN- ING ASCRIBED TO IT IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION 470.00 OF THE PENAL LAW. 2. THE DIRECTOR, WITHIN THE AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED THEREFOR, SHALL, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE BANKING DEPARTMENT, ESTABLISH A FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OUTREACH, EDUCA- TION AND TRAINING PROGRAM, HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS "THE PROGRAM" FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING AN EDUCATION, OUTREACH AND TRAINING PROGRAM TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, TO CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS LICENSED IN THIS STATE, TO ANY PREPARER OF TAXES OPERATING IN THIS STATE AND TO ATTORNEYS LICENSED IN THIS STATE. THE PROGRAM SHALL BE A VOLUNTARY PROGRAM. THE DIRECTOR, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE BANKING DEPARTMENT, SHALL COORDINATE ACTIVITIES TO IDENTIFY AND PROVIDE TRAINING TO THE INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION. 3. (A) AS PART OF THE PROGRAM, THE DIRECTOR MAY AWARD GRANTS TO QUALI- FIED DESIGNATED AGENCIES TO ESTABLISH LOCAL ELDERLY EXPLOITATION OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS. QUALIFIED DESIGNATED AGENCIES SHALL WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH SUCH INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS, AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVE ASSOCIATIONS. (B) IN MAKING SUCH GRANTS, THE DIRECTOR SHALL CONSIDER: (1) THE MANNER IN WHICH THE DESIGNATED AGENCY PROPOSES TO PROVIDE SUCH EDUCATION, OUTREACH AND TRAINING; (2) THE CAPACITY OF THE DESIGNATED AGENCY TO COORDINATE ITS SERVICES WITH BANKING, HUMAN SERVICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PUBLIC AGENCIES WHICH PROVIDE SERVICES OR ASSISTANCE TO THE ELDERLY, INCLUDING THE LOCAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES UNIT; AND (3) ANY OTHER CRITERIA DETERMINED BY THE DIRECTOR TO BE APPROPRIATE. 4. THE PROGRAM SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, CONSIST OF THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS WHICH SHALL BE PROVIDED BY THE OFFICE: (A) EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS IN PRINT, AUDIO, VISUAL, ELECTRONIC OR OTHER MEDIA; (B) PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS, ADVERTISEMENTS, MEDIA CAMPAIGNS, WORKSHOPS, MASS MAILINGS, CONFERENCES OR PRESENTATIONS; AND (C) INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO REPORT KNOWN OR SUSPECTED INCIDENTS OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE ELDERLY, INCLUDING THE APPROPRIATE TELE- PHONE NUMBERS TO CALL AND THE TYPES OF INFORMATION THAT WOULD ASSIST THE OFFICE WITH ITS INVESTIGATION OF SUCH REPORTS. 5. THE DIRECTOR SHALL CONVENE AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MADE UP OF AT LEAST TEN, BUT NO MORE THAN TWENTY MEMBERS TO ADVISE THE DIRECTOR AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE ASPECTS OF DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM. MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: AT LEAST THREE REPRESENTATIVES FROM STATEWIDE SENIOR ADVOCA- CY ORGANIZATIONS, AT LEAST ONE ATTORNEY WHOSE PRACTICE CONCENTRATES IN ELDER LAW OR AN INDIVIDUAL ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE ELDER LAW SECTION OF THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, AT LEAST ONE BANKER OR A REPRESEN-
TATIVE OF AN ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING BANKERS, AT LEAST ONE CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT OR A REPRESENTATIVE OF AN ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS, AT LEAST TWO MEMBERS REPRESENTING PROTEC- TIVE SERVICE AGENCIES FOR ADULTS, AND AT LEAST TWO LAW ENFORCEMENT REPRESENTATIVES. S 3. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-t to read as follows: S 99-T. FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND. 1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED IN THE JOINT CUSTODY OF THE COMPTROLLER AND THE SUPERINTENDENT OF BANKS A SPECIAL REVENUE FUND TO BE KNOWN AS THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND. 2. THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND SHALL CONSIST OF ALL MONEYS, APPROPRIATED THERETO, AND ALL OTHER FEES, FINES, GRANTS, BEQUESTS OR OTHER MONIES CREDITED OR TRANSFERRED THERETO FROM ANY OTHER FUND OR SOURCE. 3. THE MONEYS OF THE FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION, OUTREACH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUND SHALL BE DISBURSED BY THE COMPTROLLER TO THE STATE OFFICE FOR THE AGING FOR THE PURPOSE OF CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS TWO HUNDRED NINETEEN AND TWO HUNDRED NINETEEN-A OF THE ELDER LAW. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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