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A10689 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Rules (Galef)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to a residential reassessment exemption in a town with a population of not less than thirty-seven thousand persons and not more than thirty- eight thousand persons located in a county of not less than nine hundred thirty thousand persons and not more than one million two hundred thou- sand persons, based upon the latest U.S. census   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to help mitigate the effects of the town-wide revaluation in the Town of Ossining, Westchester County by authorizing the Town to adopt a two-year phase-in of assessment increases for certain residential properties.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new section § 485-s to the Real Property Tax Law to provide that a town with a population of not less than 37,000 persons and not more than 38,000 persons located in a county of not less than 930,000 persons and not more than 1,200,000 persons, based upon the latest U.S. census, may adopt by local law, after a public hearing, a residential reassessment exemption. If the town adopts the reassessment exemption, the exemption would also apply in the same manner and to the same extent to each village, county, special district or school district that levies taxes on the assessment roll prepared by the town. The bill further provides that to qualify for the exemption a property must (1) be a one, two, or three family residential property, provided that in an approved assessing unit dwelling units held in condominium form of ownership that are classified in the homestead tax class would also be eligible; (2) be eligible to receive the STAR exemption or the owner or owners must be eligible to receive the personal income tax school tax relief (STAR) credit for the property; (3) have a Certificate of Occupancy or a temporary Certificate of Occupancy; and (4) not have any delinquent taxes. The town may also require that the property not have any building code violations, and may limit the exemption to properties that experience an increase in assessed value that exceeds a set value threshold. The exemption would be for a period of two years to the extent of 66% of the increase in the equalized assessed value in the first year of the reassessment, and 44% of the increase in the equalized assessed value of the property in the second year. The exemption would not apply to any increase in the assessed value of a property due to physical improve- ments or the removal or reduction of an exemption on the property. The exemption would be granted only upon application by the owner or owners of the property. In the event that the property transfers ownership or otherwise ceases to meet the eligibility requirements, the exemption would be discontinued. Section 2 establishes special provisions for the 2016 assessment roll due to the fact that the Town will need to implement the exemption later in the assessment cycle than is authorized by State and local law. Section 3 is the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: New York State does not require assessing units to conduct cyclical reassessments. As a result, reassessment activity is inconsistence across the State. In many instances assessments are out of date and do not accurately reflect the actual value of properties, causing some taxpayers to pay too much in taxes and others to pay too little. The Town of Ossining, in an effort to bring current the value of proper- ties in the Town, recently completed a town-wide reassessment of its properties. The properties in the Town had not been reassessed for many years. Updating this out of date assessment roll caused some property owners to experience a large increase in property taxes. Although these increases may be in the interest of fairness, they can be jarring, espe- cially for residential homeowners and create significant financial hard- ship. This legislation will help mitigate the impacts of these increases by allowing the Town to adopt a local law, after a public hearing, to phase-in the increased assessments that some residents will experience. This legislation will allow these homeowners to prepare financially for their increased tax liabilities.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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