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S01733 Summary:

BILL NOS01733
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORTEDISCO
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add 3-a, Leg L; amd 3, Pub Off L; add 171-x, Tax L
 
Relates to eligibility to assume office for certain elected officials owing past-due tax liabilities.
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S01733 Actions:

BILL NOS01733
 
01/14/2021REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
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S01733 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1733
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 14, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen. TEDISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
          ment Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the legislative law, the public officers law and the tax
          law, in relation to eligibility to assume  office  for  persons  owing
          past-due tax liabilities

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The legislative law is amended by adding a new section  3-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  3-a.  Past-due tax liabilities of members-elect. 1. The legislature
     4  shall require a tax  clearance  from  the  department  of  taxation  and
     5  finance, as provided for in section one hundred seventy-one-x of the tax
     6  law, for each member-elect of the legislature.  No person elected to the
     7  legislature  having  past-due tax liabilities, as defined in subdivision
     8  one of section one hundred seventy-one-x of the tax  law,  or  otherwise
     9  denied  a tax clearance by the department of taxation and finance pursu-
    10  ant to such section, shall be sworn into or  assume  office  unless  and
    11  until  such  past-due  tax  liabilities  are satisfied, settled, or made
    12  subject to a payment plan established by the department of taxation  and
    13  finance and in which such person is in good standing.
    14    2. If, after six months subsequent to the date on which such member-e-
    15  lect  would have been sworn into office but for their owing past-due tax
    16  liabilities, such past-due tax  liabilities  have  not  been  satisfied,
    17  settled, or made subject to a payment plan established by the department
    18  of  taxation  and  finance and in which such person is in good standing,
    19  then a special election shall be held to fill such office.
    20    § 2. Section 3 of the public officers law is amended by adding  a  new
    21  subdivision 1-b to read as follows:
    22    1-b. (i) Any person elected to the office of a statewide elected offi-
    23  cial,  which  for  the purposes of this section shall mean the governor,
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD04395-01-1

        S. 1733                             2
 
     1  lieutenant  governor,  comptroller  or  attorney  general,  shall,  upon
     2  certification  of  such  person's election, request a tax clearance from
     3  the department of taxation and finance, as provided for in  section  one
     4  hundred seventy-one-x of the tax law. No such person having past-due tax
     5  liabilities, as defined in subdivision one of section one hundred seven-
     6  ty-one-x  of  the  tax  law,  or otherwise denied a tax clearance by the
     7  department of taxation and finance pursuant to such  section,  shall  be
     8  sworn  into  or assume office unless and until such past-due tax liabil-
     9  ities are satisfied, settled, or made subject to a payment  plan  estab-
    10  lished  by  the  department  of  taxation  and finance and in which such
    11  person is in good standing.
    12    (ii) If, after six months subsequent to the date  on  which  a  person
    13  elected  to  statewide  office would have been sworn into office but for
    14  their owing past-due tax liabilities, such past-due tax liabilities have
    15  not been satisfied, settled, or made subject to a  payment  plan  estab-
    16  lished  by  the  department  of  taxation  and finance and in which such
    17  person is in good standing, then a special election  shall  be  held  to
    18  fill such office.
    19    §  3.  The tax law is amended by adding a new section 171-x to read as
    20  follows:
    21    § 171-x. Enforcement of delinquent tax liabilities through tax  clear-
    22  ances.  (1) For the purposes of this section, the term "tax liabilities"
    23  shall  mean any tax, surcharge, or fee administered by the commissioner,
    24  or any penalty or interest owed by an individual  or  entity.  The  term
    25  "past-due  tax  liabilities"  means any unpaid tax liabilities that have
    26  become fixed and final such that the taxpayer no longer has any right to
    27  administrative or judicial review. The term  "government  entity"  means
    28  the  state  of New York, or any of its agencies, political subdivisions,
    29  instrumentalities, public corporations (including a  public  corporation
    30  created  pursuant to agreement or compact with another state or Canada),
    31  or combination thereof.
    32    (2) The commissioner, or his or her designee, shall cooperate with any
    33  government entity that is required by law or has elected to require  tax
    34  clearances to establish procedures by which the department shall receive
    35  a  tax  clearance request and transmit such tax clearance to the govern-
    36  ment entity, and any other procedures deemed necessary to carry out  the
    37  provisions  of this section. These procedures shall, to the extent prac-
    38  ticable, require secure electronic communication between the  department
    39  and  the requesting government entity for the transmission of tax clear-
    40  ance requests to the department and transmission of  tax  clearances  to
    41  the requesting entity.  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a
    42  government  entity  shall be authorized to share any data or information
    43  with the department that is necessary to ensure the proper matching of a
    44  person who is the subject of a tax clearance request to the tax  records
    45  maintained by the department.
    46    (3)  Upon  receipt  of  a  tax clearance request, the department shall
    47  examine its records to determine whether the subject of the  tax  clear-
    48  ance  request  has past-due tax liabilities equal to or in excess of the
    49  dollar threshold applicable for such tax clearance request.  When a  tax
    50  clearance  request  so  requires,  the  department  shall also determine
    51  whether (i) the subject of such request has complied with applicable tax
    52  return filing requirements for each of the past three years; and/or (ii)
    53  whether a subject of such request that is an individual or  entity  that
    54  is  a  person  required to register pursuant to section one thousand one
    55  hundred thirty-four of this  chapter  is  registered  pursuant  to  such
    56  section. The department shall deny a tax clearance if it determines that

        S. 1733                             3
 
     1  the  subject  of  a  tax  clearance request has past-due tax liabilities
     2  equal to or in excess of the  applicable  threshold  or,  when  the  tax
     3  clearance  request  so requires, has not complied with applicable return
     4  filing and/or registration requirements.
     5    (4) If a tax clearance is denied, the government entity that requested
     6  the  clearance  shall  provide  notice  to the subject of the request to
     7  contact the department. Such notice shall be made by  first  class  mail
     8  with  a  certificate  of mailing and a copy of such notice also shall be
     9  provided to the department. When the subject of the request contacts the
    10  department, the department shall inform him or her of the basis for  the
    11  denial of the tax clearance and shall also inform such person (i) that a
    12  tax  clearance denied due to past-due tax liabilities may be issued once
    13  the taxpayer fully satisfies past-due tax liabilities or  makes  payment
    14  arrangements satisfactory to the commissioner; (ii) that a tax clearance
    15  denied  due  to failure to file tax returns may be issued once the indi-
    16  vidual has satisfied the applicable return  filing  requirements;  (iii)
    17  that  a tax clearance denied for failure to register pursuant to section
    18  one thousand one hundred thirty-four of this chapter may be issued  once
    19  the  individual  has  registered  pursuant to such section; and (iv) the
    20  grounds for challenging the denial of a tax clearance listed in subdivi-
    21  sion five of this section.
    22    (5) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision  of  law,  and  except  as
    23  specifically provided herein, an individual denied a tax clearance shall
    24  have no right to commence a court action or proceeding or seek any other
    25  legal  recourse  against the department or the government entity related
    26  to the denial of a tax clearance by the department.
    27    (b) An individual seeking to challenge the denial of a  tax  clearance
    28  must  protest  to the department or the division of tax appeals no later
    29  than sixty days from the date of the notification to the individual that
    30  the tax clearance was denied. An individual may challenge  a  department
    31  finding  of  past-due  tax  liabilities only on the grounds that (i) the
    32  individual or entity denied the tax clearance is not the  individual  or
    33  entity  with  the past-due tax liabilities at issue or (ii) the past-due
    34  tax liabilities were satisfied.  An individual may challenge  a  depart-
    35  ment  finding  of  failure to comply with tax return filing requirements
    36  only on the grounds that all required tax returns have  been  filed  for
    37  each of the past three years.
    38    (c)  Nothing  in  this subdivision is intended to limit any individual
    39  from seeking relief from joint and several liability pursuant to section
    40  six hundred fifty-four of this chapter, to the extent that he or she  is
    41  eligible  pursuant  to  that  section, or establishing to the department
    42  that the enforcement of the underlying tax liabilities has  been  stayed
    43  by  the  filing  of  a  petition pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code of 1978
    44  (Title Eleven of the United States Code).
    45    (6) Notwithstanding any other provision of  law,  the  department  may
    46  exchange  with  a government entity any data or information that, in the
    47  discretion of the commissioner, is necessary for the implementation of a
    48  tax clearance requirement. However, no government entity may re-disclose
    49  this information to any other entity  or  person,  other  than  for  the
    50  purpose  of  informing  the individual that a required tax clearance has
    51  been denied, unless otherwise permitted by law.
    52    (7) Except as otherwise provided in this section,  the  activities  to
    53  collect  past-due  tax liabilities undertaken by the department pursuant
    54  to this section shall not in any  way  limit,  restrict  or  impair  the
    55  department from exercising any other authority to collect or enforce tax
    56  liabilities under any other applicable provision of law.

        S. 1733                             4
 
     1    (8)  Except  as  otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of
     2  this section are not applicable to the tax clearance required by section
     3  one hundred seventy-one-v of this article.
     4    §  4. This act shall take effect June 1, 2021; provided, however, that
     5  the department of taxation and finance, and any other government  entity
     6  electing  to receive a tax clearance from the department of taxation and
     7  finance may work to  execute  the  necessary  procedures  and  technical
     8  changes  to  support  the tax clearance process as described in this act
     9  before that date; provided, further, that this effective date  will  not
    10  impact  the  administration  of  any tax clearance program authorized by
    11  another provision of law.
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