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A09504 Summary:

Amd §54-g, St Fin L; add §903, RPT L
Authorizes municipalities in a pilot emergency repair program to add unpaid emergency repair charges and housing code violation penalties, costs and fines to such municipalities' annual tax levy.
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A09504 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 10, 2022
        Introduced  by M. of A. HUNTER, GRIFFIN -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Local Governments -- committee discharged, bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT to amend the state finance law and the real property tax law, in
          relation to authorizing certain municipalities in  a  pilot  emergency
          repair program to add unpaid emergency repair charges and housing code
          violation  penalties, costs   and fines to such municipalities' annual
          tax levy in accordance with applicable  law;  and  providing  for  the
          repeal of certain provisions upon the expiration thereof
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 54-g of the state finance law,  as
     2  added by chapter 707 of the laws of 1981, is amended to read as follows:
     3    3.  The secretary of state, with assistance from the division of hous-
     4  ing  and community renewal, shall establish a pilot program with partic-
     5  ipating municipalities for an emergency repair program. The secretary of
     6  state shall only select municipalities designated as  a  city  for  such
     7  pilot program. The emergency repair program shall require a municipality
     8  awarded participation to enact a local law to enable the municipality to
     9  repair  immediately  hazardous  code  violations  in buildings where the
    10  owner has not undertaken such repairs in a reasonable time. The  munici-
    11  pality  shall  bill  the  owner  for  such repair costs and in the event
    12  payment is not received within thirty days, the  secretary  shall  reim-
    13  burse  the  municipality  for  such  repairs. Any subsequent recovery of
    14  monies due from the owner for such repairs shall  be  forwarded  to  the
    15  state.  The secretary of state in conjunction with the division of hous-
    16  ing and community renewal shall file a report annually to  evaluate  the
    17  effectiveness of the emergency repair pilot program with the legislature
    18  and the governor. Such report shall include recommendations as to wheth-
    19  er the program shall be continued or modified in any way and the reasons
    20  therefor.
    21    4.  The terms used in this section shall have the meanings ascribed to
    22  them in section fifty-four of this article.
    23    § 2. The real property tax law is amended by adding a new section  903
    24  to read as follows:
    25    § 903. Collection of unpaid housing code violation penalties; levy. 1.
    26  Authorization.  In addition to and not in limitation of any power other-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9504--A                          2
     1  wise granted by  law,  municipalities  participating  in  the  emergency
     2  repair  program  pursuant  to  section fifty-four-g of the state finance
     3  law, are hereby authorized to collect any unpaid emergency repair charg-
     4  es, housing, building and fire code violation penalties, costs and fines
     5  through  placement by the municipality's commissioner of finance, treas-
     6  urer, or other public official charged with the duties of overseeing tax
     7  collections on the municipality's annual tax levy in accordance with the
     8  provisions of this section.
     9    2. Eligibility. In order to be eligible for placement on  the  munici-
    10  pality's  annual  tax  levy  such  unpaid emergency repair charges, code
    11  violation penalties, costs and fines shall  have  been  adjudicated  and
    12  imposed  through  a  judgment in a court of competent jurisdiction on an
    13  owner of real property within the municipality and recorded by the coun-
    14  ty clerk, as certified by the municipal counsel to the  commissioner  of
    15  finance,  treasurer  or other public official charged with the duties of
    16  overseeing tax collections and have remained unpaid for one  year  after
    17  the  final  adjudication  and  exhaustion of all appeals relating to the
    18  imposition of the fines for a code violation preceding the placement  on
    19  the municipality's tax levy.
    20    3.  Minimum  amount owed. To qualify for placement on the tax levy the
    21  amount  owed  for  unpaid  emergency  repair  charges  and/or  the  code
    22  violations  shall  be  at  least  five  percent of the amount of the tax
    23  assessed value of the property.
    24    4. Levy. Such unpaid emergency repair charges  and/or  code  violation
    25  penalty,  cost  or fine as set forth in a copy of the judgment certified
    26  by the municipal counsel to the commissioner of  finance,  treasurer  or
    27  other  public  official  charged  with  the  duties  of  overseeing  tax
    28  collections shall be set down in the annual tax levy under  the  heading
    29  uncollected  fines  and  penalties  and  in accordance with this section
    30  shall be levied, enforced and collected in the same manner, by the  same
    31  proceedings,  at  the same time, under the same penalties and having the
    32  same lien upon the property assessed as the general municipal tax and as
    33  a part thereof.
    34    5. Notice. The municipality shall notify all owners  or  known  inter-
    35  ested  parties of record of the placement of the unpaid emergency repair
    36  charges and/or code violations on the municipal tax levy as  uncollected
    37  fines and penalties within thirty days of placement, pursuant to section
    38  three  hundred  eight  of  the  civil practice law and rules. The notice
    39  shall include the date or dates of such violations, the  description  of
    40  the  violations,  the amount owed, a statement detailing the foreclosure
    41  process that will occur if the violations remain unpaid, the process  to
    42  claim  any  surplus  funds and the contact information for the municipal
    43  office in charge of receiving payments.
    44    6.  Tax  year.  Any  unpaid  emergency  repair  charges  and/or   code
    45  violations shall be placed on the tax roll the municipality is currently
    46  in and shall not be placed on a list, roll or levy of delinquent taxes.
    47    7.  Owner occupied. Notwithstanding any other applicable provisions of
    48  law, nothing in this section shall be applied to a residential  dwelling
    49  that is owner-occupied or is the primary residence of a homeowner.
    50    8.  Tenants.  Prior to the placement of any property with unpaid emer-
    51  gency repair charges and/or code violations on the tax levy, the munici-
    52  pality shall develop a program to assist tenants residing in a  dwelling
    53  at  risk  for  tax  foreclosure  due  to unpaid emergency repair charges
    54  and/or code violations. Such program shall  include  housing  counseling
    55  assistance  or other support in relocating the tenants to suitable hous-
    56  ing prior to the tax foreclosure.

        A. 9504--A                          3
     1    9. Payment plan.  Nothing in this section shall preclude an owner from
     2  entering into a payment plan with a municipality for  past  amounts  due
     3  for emergency repair charges and/or code violations.
     4    10. Curing code violations. (a) If all of the violations for which the
     5  penalties,  fees  and  costs  have  been  assessed are cured, removed or
     6  corrected prior to the expiration of the period for redemption  pursuant
     7  to  section  eleven  hundred  ten of this chapter, the property shall be
     8  removed from the levy and auction and the balance  of  the  amount  owed
     9  shall  be  placed  as a lien on the property pursuant to applicable laws
    10  for debt collection and an action for foreclosure of the property  shall
    11  not be maintained for the amount owed.
    12    (b)  The determination of whether or not the code violations have been
    13  cured shall be made by the local municipal enforcing officer  in  charge
    14  of ensuring compliance with applicable housing, building, and fire codes
    15  such  as  a  code  enforcement officer or through a certification by the
    16  owner filed with the code enforcement officer.  An appeal of this deter-
    17  mination may be made to the municipality's zoning board  of  appeals  or
    18  other  local administrative body as provided for in local law. The final
    19  determination made by the administrative body shall be reviewable pursu-
    20  ant to article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.
    21    (c) This section shall not  be  applicable  to  any  cause  of  action
    22  brought  for  money  due based on the curing of emergency repair charges
    23  and/or code violations under any form for receivership  or  a  mechanics
    24  lien.
    25    11.  Payment  prior  to auction. (a) If the balance owed for emergency
    26  repair charges and/or code violations placed on the  tax  levy  is  paid
    27  prior to the expiration of the period for redemption pursuant to section
    28  eleven  hundred  ten  of  this  chapter  and there is no balance due for
    29  unpaid real property taxes, the property may not be auctioned,  and  the
    30  property shall be removed from the tax levy.
    31    (b)  The  owner  shall have the right to pay the full balance prior to
    32  the expiration of the period for redemption pursuant to  section  eleven
    33  hundred ten of this chapter in order to redeem the property.
    34    12.  Surplus. Any surplus funds remaining after the sale of a property
    35  at a tax foreclosure for unpaid code violations shall be returned to the
    36  former owner of the property in a manner provided under local law.  This
    37  provision shall not apply to a sale of a property at a  tax  foreclosure
    38  due to unpaid taxes. If a property has: (a) unpaid taxes; and (b) unpaid
    39  emergency  repair  charges and/or unpaid code violations on the same tax
    40  levy and is auctioned at a tax foreclosure, the amount  of  the  surplus
    41  funds  returned to the former owner shall be proportionate to the amount
    42  of unpaid emergency repair charges and/or code violations  owed  in  the
    43  total  amount  of debt owed to the municipality. For the purpose of this
    44  section, "surplus funds" shall mean the balance of money received  after
    45  auction  of  a  property at a tax foreclosure sale minus the amount owed
    46  for emergency repair charges, code violations and the costs  and  attor-
    47  neys fees incurred in the collection of the fees by the municipalities.
    48    13.  Balance  due.  If after an auction a balance is due for emergency
    49  repair charges and/or code violations, the municipality may proceed with
    50  any action against the former owner pursuant to applicable laws.
    51    14. Exclusions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to  any
    52  municipality that sells their tax liens in a tax lien sale.
    53    §  3.  This  act  shall  take  effect  immediately; provided, however,
    54  section one of this act shall expire and be deemed repealed May 1, 2026.
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