New York State Assembly

Committee on Real Property Taxation



December 15, 2003

The Honorable Sheldon Silver
Speaker of the Assembly
Room 932 - Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248

Dear Speaker Silver:

I am pleased to submit the 2003 Annual Report of the Assembly Standing Committee on Real Property Taxation. This was a busy year for the Committee, with a wide range of challenging issues and diverse legislation to consider.

This year, as in the past, the Committee was immersed in budget negotiations. The three key 2003 budget issues of particular interest to the Real Property Taxation Committee were: increasing the real property recording fee, continuing the charge back to oil and gas producers, and capping appropriations for basic STAR. I am pleased that with your leadership and the assistance of Dean Fuleihan we were successful in all three areas. The revenues generated by the fee increase and the three year extension on charge backs to oil and gas producers will aid in sustaining the services that the Office of Real Property Services provides to local taxing jurisdictions. Further, the Governor’s proposed cap on STAR benefits was successfully rejected.

In 2003, the Committee met ten times and acted on over 194 bills. We reviewed and reported proposed legislation in a variety of areas including, general administration, exemption administration, and jurisdiction specific (local) legislation. In addition to our daily legislative responsibilities, the Committee worked closely with the New York State Office of Real Property Services (NYS ORPS) to promote informed and responsible legislation. Other notable issues that the Committee embarked on this year were:

  • STAR outreach
  • Reviewing Nassau County Re-evaluation Process
  • Initiating Communication with the Department of Finance

In 2004, the Committee will continue to review New York City’s assessment practices, monitor the progress of Nassau County’s re-evaluation, review equalization practices, and continue to reach out to homeowners to encourage participation in the STAR program, especially in New York City.

I have greatly enjoyed working with the Real Property Tax Committee members. Their knowledge and enthusiasm was instrumental in making this a pleasant and productive year.


Brian Mc Laughlin
Real Property Taxation Committee



Brian M. Mc Laughlin, CHAIRPERSON



James F. Brennan
Jacob E. Gunther, III
Alexander J. Gromack
Joan K. Christensen
Steve A. Levy
nnette M. Robinson
William F. Boyland

Sandra Lee Wirth - Ranking
    Minority Member

Bernard H. Bryan, Legislative Coordinator
Anthony S. Cantore, Legislative Counsel
Karen Smeaton, Legislative Analyst
Anne Rua, Committee Clerk
Mona Carter, Program and Counsel Secretary


    1. Financial Disclosure

    2. Recreational Vehicles

    3. Change in Taxable Status

    4. Technical Corrections


    1. Economic Development

    2. Farm Dwellings STAR

    3. First Time Home Buyer

    4. Property Leased to Municipal Corporations

    5. Volunteer Firefighters & Ambulance Workers

    6. Nonprofit Exemptions


    1. Village Collection of Delinquent Taxes

    2. Municipal Bond Banking Agency


    1. Preservation of Tax Class Shares

      1. New York City - Class Rates

      2. Nassau County - Class Rates

    2. Vacant Land Classification - Nassau County

    3. Rehabilitation /Construction Exemptions - New York City

      1. Industrial Commercial Incentive Program

      2. Multiple Dwelling Exemption

      3. J-51 Program

    4. Commercial Expansion Program (CEP) - NYC

  5. 2004 OUTLOOK

    1. STAR Participation - NYC

    2. New York City Assessment Practices

    3. Nassau County Re-evaluation

    4. Equalization Rates


    1. Appendix A: 2003 Summary

    2. Appendix B: Real Property Bills Enacted

    3. Appendix C: Real Property Bills That Passed the Assembly ONLY


A.  Financial Disclosure

Chapter 548 requires New York State assessors and personnel assigned to assessing duties to file an annual statement of financial disclosure. The statement must be filed in accordance with Article 18 of the General Municipal Law. In addition, the chief executive office of each municipality is responsible for ensuring that a notice of the statute is posted in every municipal building in a conspicuous location in which an assessor performs his/her duties. [RPTL §336]

In 2002, New York City witnessed top ranking assessors being indicted and later convicted of bribery, conspiracy, and various other charges related to illegal activities while performing their assessing duties. While it is presumed that the illegal activities that were brought to light in the NYC scandal are isolated, the legislature cannot ignore the fact that improprieties occurred and there is a need for oversight. Requiring assessors to file a financial disclosure form will allow the public and regulators to have greater information in evaluating an assessor’s ethical conduct.

Note: Requiring public officials to file a financial disclosure form is not new concept. It is a mandatory administrative requirement for a large number of elected and appointed public officials at the State and local levels. (A. 3803, Stringer)

B.  Recreational Vehicles

Chapter 539 revises the definition of a "mobile home" so as to exclude recreational vehicles - commonly referred to as RV’s - that are four hundred square feet or less. The RV can be in tow by an automobile or light duty truck or self-propelled, but it must be used for recreational purposes such as camping, traveling, or seasonal use. [RPTL §102(12)(2)]

This bill is in response to concerns by constituents that indicated that some assessors were not making the distinction between recreational RV’s and mobile homes (trailers/manufactured homes) that are used for year-round habitation. It is believed that some assessors attempted to tax RV’s that were merely "parked" year round at one location. The specifications within this statute should ensure that RV’s meeting the above referenced guidelines will not be subject to real property taxation.
[A. 8967, Rules (Morelle)]

C.  Change in Taxable Status

Chapter 386 requires assessors in instances where the property has not changed ownership, to notify a taxpayer when a partial real property tax exemption will be discontinued. The notice must be mailed at least ten days prior to the grievance day (30 days for New York City). The notice must include the date or dates and times in which the board of assessment will hear complaints. [RPTL, §510]

When a partial exemption is removed, tax liability increases even though assessed values themselves may remain unchanged. Timely notification of the discontinuance of partial exemptions provides taxpayers the opportunity to grieve the assessor’s decision as well as allow assessors time to restore partial exemptions that may have been discontinued in error.

Under prior law an assessor was obligated to notify a taxpayer of an increase in the tentative assessment of the taxpayer’s property (as compared to the preceding year’s final assessment). Assuming, however, that an assessment is not increased, assessors were not obligated to notify the taxpayers of the discontinuance of a previous year’s partial exemption. Generally, a property owner only becomes aware of the removal of a partial exemption when they receive their tax bill. Such a delay in notification basically nullifies any opportunity to challenge the removal of the exemption for the current tax levy. (A. 7504, Mc Laughlin)

NOTE: This legislation does not require a notice to be sent if a partial exemption is only being reduced.

D.  Technical Corrections

Chapter 355 provides minor technical corrections for various sections of the Real Property Tax Laws that were passed in 2002. This chapter establishes language clarity and clear procedures to correct the current assessment roll in instances where it has been determined that a partial real property tax exemption was given in error. Specifically this enactment:

Renumbers RPTL §425(2)(k)(iii) relating to the STAR exemption for Mitchell-Lama co-ops. This amendment was needed as prior to this legislation there were two RPTL §425(2)(k)(iii). Note: The remaining RPTL §425(2)(k)(iii) references the co-op’s responsibility to send written notice specifying how the STAR credit was applied.

Adds a new section RPTL §553(6), which references final assessment roll corrections and clarifies the applicable procedure to follow for correcting the current years assessment roll when adjustments must be made for a partial real property tax exemption. Note: Chapter 616 of the Laws of 2002 authorized the cancellation of a partial exemption found to be wrongly granted on the preceding year’s assessment roll; however, that legislation did not provide procedural guidelines in which to implement the correction; this legislation corrects that oversight.

Amends RPTL §924-a, which references applicable interest payments on late and delinquent real property taxes, to clarify that the applicable interest rate for unpaid real property taxes is set by the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance annually. This amendment was needed to clarify the intent of Chapter 85 of the Laws of 2002.

Renumbers RPTL §925(2) relating to payment of real property taxes by mail or delivery service in New York City, which will now be designated RPTL §925(5). This amendment was needed as prior to this legislation there were two RPTL §925(2). Note: The remaining RPTL §925(2) references delivery of payment for real property taxes for all those not living in cities of one million or more.


A.  Economic Development

Chapter 502 authorizes at local option, a real property tax exemption for former multiple dwelling residences that are converted into single family residences or two unit residences in a city having a population of more than twenty-two thousand but less than twenty-three thousand inhabitants (i.e. Lockport). The exemption covers the increase in assessed value derived as a result of the conversion. The dollar increase in assessed value in the initial year will be referred to as an "exemption base." Qualifying buildings will be entitled to a 100% tax exemption for the first year on the increase in assessed value, thereafter, for the next seven years, the exemption will decrease by 12.5% annually from the original "exemption base". [Refer to RPTL §421-h].

Enactment of this legislation allows Lockport to offer a real property tax exemption to potential homeowners and developers to renovate and convert multi-use dwelling to one and two family dwellings. This added tax incentive is needed to defray the costs, as multiple dwelling units are generally well worn and require extensive rehabilitation and/or reconstruction to renovate. Investing in single family or two family housing units assists municipalities such as Lockport in laying the ground work for long-term, owner occupied homes; thereby promoting a sound tax infrastructure for the future. (A. 7148, Delmonte)

B.  Farm Dwellings - STAR

Chapter 443 broadens the STAR eligibility for farmers whose primary residence is a farm dwelling that is owned in the name of a partnership or a C or S corporation. Previously STAR eligibility applied only to farm dwellings on land in which title is held. [RPTL §425(3)(d)]

The original intent of the STAR exemption was to provide a real property tax break for a homeowner’s primary residence - which certainly includes farmers. Many farmers are in a unique situation - they live and operate "their" farm on a daily basis, but they do not actually hold title to the property. Yet, they are owners - "part" owners because they are shareholders in the farm. Still, the recognized owner is the agriculture partnership or business corporation.

This legislation allows the original objective of the STAR exemption to be realized by expanding the STAR eligibility to farmers in this unique situation. No doubt, the savings it will provide will ultimately help agriculture farmers keep more of their hard earned money and will aid in strengthening New York’s vital agricultural industry. (A. 1410, Magee)

C.  First Time Home Buyers

Chapter 496 revises the First-Time Homebuyers Exemption by setting new qualification parameters. Under prior law, qualifying income and purchase price were tied to rates set by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) as of January 1, 2001. With the enactment of this legislation, the income and purchase price qualifiers for the first time home buyers exemption will be based on the SONYMA limits that are in effect on the contract date. [RPRL §457(2)(a) & (c)]

SONYMA’s primary focus is to provide home loans to low and moderate wage earners. The agency periodically updates the qualification parameters for a mortgage to reflect changes in the economy and the sale price of a residence in a particular region. As the First-Time Homeowners Exemption has the same goal, to encourage and assist first time home-ownership in managing the costs associated with said ownership, it is appropriate that this legislation was adopted to allow the exemption qualifiers to reflect the same qualifying parameters as determined by SONYMA. (A. 1849, Sweeney)

D.  Property Leased to Municipal Corporations

Chapter 534 authorizes a non-profit exemption to granted and/or remain in effect in instances where the owner of the property is a non-profit organization who is leasing the property to the municipality and the municipality uses the property for public purposes. Provided, however, that the nonprofit organization leasing/rental fees do not exceed the carrying, maintenance, and depreciation charges on the leased property.
[RPTL §§420-a(2), 420- b(2)]

Prior to the enactment of this legislation, a non-profit organization could lease property it owned to a school district without losing its exemption status. If the property were leased to any other municipal corporation the exemption was forfeited. This provision will simply correct the inequity that previously existed and will allow municipalities to be categorized in the same manner as schools districts for purposes of the allowing the continuance and/or granting of the non-profit tax-exemption to qualified organizations. [A. 8499, Rules (Magee)]

E.  Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers

Chapters 131, 133, 142, and 168 provide, at local option, a partial real property tax exemption for members of incorporated volunteer fire companies, fire departments, and incorporated volunteer ambulance services for Columbia, Orleans, Westchester, and Niagara Counties respectively. This exemption allows for a 10% reduction on the assessed value of the residence of the volunteers provided that the volunteer meets the following criteria:

  • The property is the primary residence of the volunteer;
  • The property is used exclusively for residential purposes;
  • The applicant resides in the city, town or village served by the volunteer company, and;
  • The applicant has a minimum of five certified years as a volunteer member with the volunteer ambulance/firefighting company.

* In Westchester County there is an added stipulation that in order to qualify for this exemption the servicing area cannot employ five or more professional firefighters or ambulance workers.

This exemption applies only to real property taxes and special ad valorem levies, it does not apply to special assessments nor can the reduction exceed $3000 times the latest equalization rate set by the State.

NOTE: Ten other counties have passed similar legislation within the last few years affording volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers this exemption, they are: Chautauqua, Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Oswego, Rockland, Putnam, Steuben, Suffolk, and Wyoming Counties.

F.  Nonprofit Exemptions

Assessors in several jurisdictions were authorized to accept exemption applications after the applicable taxable status date on specific properties (27 in all) owned by a named nonprofit organizations and certain other entities. In most cases, the entity acquired the property after the taxable status date, although in some instances the entity had title but failed to file the exemption application by the taxable status date. The chapters providing relief to nonprofit organizations are as follows:



265 His Tabernacle Family Church
266 Congregation Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park, Inc.
272 Salvation and Deliverance Church, Inc.
273 Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church
277 St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
279 First Methodist Church (Amityville)
280 Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) Inc.
281 Town of Brookhaven (1 Allstate Drive)
289 Bethlehem Assembly of God
292 Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island
293 Oceanside American Legion Post 1246
294 Village of Rockville Centre (Warwick Road Extension)
297 Sephardic Congregation of the Five Towns
317 Long Island Progressive Baptist Association
323 Ohr Moshe Torah Institute Inc.
325 North Lindenhurst Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
326 Congregation Avnei Pinchos
330 Shaarei Tikvah Scarsdale Conservative Congregation
345 Shor Yoshuv
347 Rockland Korean Presbyterian Church
352 Base Medrash Marph Lenefesh Khal Bnai Mesivta, Inc.
354 Village of Port Washington North (Shore Road)
364 Northport Volunteer Fire Department
365 Bais Yaakov D’Chassidei Gur
366 Masjid At-Taqwa, Inc.
369 Iranian Jewish Center/Beth Hadassah Synagogue
374 Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity


A.  Village Collection of Delinquent Taxes

Chapter 431 extends authorization to villages, which had originally adopted by local law before September 1, 1994, to continue to enforce unpaid property taxes by virtue of a tax lien sale of village taxes for 2004, 2005 and 2006. [Reference RPTL §1104 and repealed RPTL §1454]

A tax lien sale is not the public sale of property, but rather the public sale of delinquent property taxes. By selling the liens, villages are able to recoup outstanding delinquent taxes owed to the village, including interest and penalties charges. For many villages, particularly in the downstate region, annual tax lien sales serve as a critical cash flow tool. Without such tax lien sales, villages would be required to raise additional revenue from property owners to cover the outstanding tax levys. This provision simply allows villages (upward of a 100) that have been utilizing the sale of delinquent tax liens to continue to do so until 2006. (A. 6325, Di Napoli)

Historical Note: Chapter 602 of the Laws of 1993, which became effective on January 1, 1995, comprehensively reformed the method by which local governments enforce the collection of delinquent real property taxes. Part of that reform included eliminating municipal authority to enforce unpaid taxes via tax lien sales. However, Chapter 602 authorized counties, cities and towns with local charters that included tax enforcement provisions - including tax lien sales - to opt out of the new enforcement system by adopting a local law prior to July 1, 1994. To address the needs of the 165 villages for whom their county does not enforce village taxes, the Legislature then enacted Chapter 532 of the Laws of 1994, amending Chapter 602 to provide that any village using tax lien sales as a means of tax enforcement were authorized to enact a local law retaining the right to continue to hold annual tax lien sales up until 1997. This provision was then extended for a three year terms in 1998 and again in 2001 and with this enactment until 2006.

B.  Municipal Bond Banking Agency

Chapter 149 amends Chapter 203 of the Laws of 2000 which established the authorization for the sale of delinquent tax liens by municipalities to New York State’s Municipal Bond Bank Agency. The following revisions are a direct reflection of the Assembly’s response to the issues and concerns that were brought to our attention by the parties involved in the sale of delinquent tax liens and other various advocates: The revisions established by this legislation are as follows:

  • Authorizes a "tax district" to withdraw liens from foreclosure if the liens are to be sold to the MBBA or its Tax Lien Entity (TLE) - prior law required the lien to have already been sold;

  • Allows tax districts to sell any residual amounts to which it may be entitled or property it acquires, pursuant to any tax enforcement proceeding, to the MBBA;

  • Permits the MBBA or its TLE to retain the interest rate applicable to the tax district provided that it is higher than the standard rate set in statute - prior law had no provisions for municipalities that had approved special interest rates that are higher than the standard rate set in RPTL § 924-a;

  • Clarifies that in instances where a tax lien is sold to the MBBA and the real property owner(s) had a previous installment payment agreement with the taxing district that the MBBA will be required to honor the installment agreement with the understanding that payments will now be remitted to the MBBA (unless other arrangements have been determined). Similar to other tax lien sales to MBBA, the enforcing officer is required to mail a notice to the property owner(s) advising them of the sale and providing the purchasing agents name and their responsibility to remit payment accordingly.

  • Authorizes the MBBA to accept partial payments, at its discretion, and sets guidelines for the application of the partial payment.

  • In cases of foreclosures, provides that reasonable attorneys’ fees, legal costs, allowances, and disbursements may be obtained after a proceeding to foreclose on a lien has been commenced and sets forth the order in which disbursements of monies received from a foreclosure action will be paid;

  • Amends and clarifies RPTL 1194(10) and repeals RPTL §1194(8) so that procedures involving foreclose actions on tax lien sales will mimic mortgage foreclosure actions.

  • Requires the municipality to update their records to reflect the tax liens sold to the MBBA; and

  • Permits the purchasers of tax liens to file for a court order to obtain a license to inspect environmentally impaired property.

(A.7516, Schimminger)


A.  Preservation of Tax Class Shares

i). New York City - Class Rates

Chapter 400 provides a real property tax relief in 2004 for residential one, two and three family dwellings (Class 1) in New York City by limiting the allowable increase in the taxable assessed value on these residential properties to no more than two percent from the previous year. [RPTL 1803-a(1)(n)]

According to the State Board’s calculation, the 2004 taxable assessed value of a Class 1 residence in New York City would have to be increased by 14% to accurately reflect the growth of value in these residential homes. Under current statute, such an increase could not be realized as the State limits the increase to no more than 5% annually [RPTL 1803-a(1)(c)]. Nonetheless, a 5% increase in the taxable assessed value would significantly increase the tax liability for class 1 residential property owners. Appreciating the fiscal struggle that Class 1 homeowners have faced in recent years, this legislation was enacted to establish a manageable increase in the real property tax for 2004 which, according to figures by the New York City Council, this legislation will limit Class 1 homeowner liability to a modest increase. [(A.9000, Rules (McLaughlin)]

NOTE: The New York City Council heavily urged timely enactment of this legislation by the State Legislature.

ii).  Nassau County - Class Rates

Chapter 43 provides a temporary limitation of 2% on the allowable increase in the taxable assessed value of all properties in Nassau County. [RPTL §1803-a(1)(m)]

Nassau County has just completed a re-evaluation/assessment of the market value of all 416,000 properties within their jurisdiction. This has resulted in a significant fluctuation in the assessed value of real property throughout the County. At the request of public officials and residents of Nassau County, to enable the residents to manage the ultimate tax shift created by the implementation of the new assessed values, the State Legislature has enacted legislation that limits the increase on the taxable assessed value from the previous year at 2% - for the 2004 assessment roll. (A. 6721, DiNapoli)

B.  Vacant Land Classification - Nassau County

Chapter 12 establishes that in Nassau County vacant lots owned by a homeowner in an adjoining parcel are to be classified as residential properties [RPTL §1802(1)]. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, vacant lots in Nassau County were classified as commercial properties (Class 4) which have a higher tax rate. (Note: Technical revisions were made in Chapter 60)

This legislation is in direct response to the concern by Nassau County residents and community leaders. The concern: residents are getting hit hard with increased real property taxes due to the court ordered reassessment of all properties in Nassau County. One of the factors causing a distorted increase in homeowners taxes occurred when vacant lots adjacent to a residential lot, which was owned by the homeowner, were being assessed at it "best use" or the commercial rate. Thus a homeowner’s tax bill was being unduly inflated.

Clearly, classifying vacant lots that are being used as lawns in a residential setting, as commercial property is counterproductive to establishing a fair and equitable taxing system. This legislation which is at the core of most basic and fundamental goal of the assessing process rectified this practice.

In addition, there is legislative precedent, Chapter 143 of the Laws of 1989 established that vacant lots in New York City (except parts of Manhattan) are to be classified as residential (class one) parcels. (A. 1251, Weisenberg)

NOTE: This legislation is considered to be in effect retroactive to December 31, 2002 so that the corrections can be made and accurately reflected in the 2003 assessment roll.

C.  Rehabilitation / Construction Exemptions - New York City

i). Industrial Commercial Incentive Program

Chapter 103 authorizes New York City to extend for four years, at local option, the existing Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP). The application deadline would be extended to June 30, 2007. In addition, this legislation includes the Borough of Manhattan in the program’s new construction exemption benefit. However, the area bounded by 96th Street and Murray Street, the area encompassing the World Trade Center site are not eligible for this exemption benefit. The World Trade Center was excluded so as to allow flexibility in the level of benefits or tax status of such site during reconstruction. It was feared that including the site could possibly negate or interfere with other special rebuilding/development programs. [RPTL §§489-bbbb (5)(d), 489-cccc (6) & 489eeee (1) & (3)] (A. 8931, Mc Laughlin).

NOTE: This legislation was initiated and supported by the Office of the Mayor of New York City

ii). Multiple Dwelling Exemption

Chapter 447 adds a new definition for multiple dwellings in regards to a real property tax exemption pursuant to Real Property Tax Law §421-a; thereby, extending the multiple dwelling real property tax exemption to a new multiple dwelling or one that has been newly constructed by virtue of rehabilitation, alteration, or conversion of a non-residential space into residential space. The new construction must make up at least 51% of the completed residential development.

This legislation was needed as there continues to be a shortage of affordable housing in New York City. The expansion of the Real Property Tax Exemption 421-a will provide additional interest and encourage the development of new and/or new by virtue of renovation housing units. (A. 6954, Mc Laughlin)

iii). J-51 Program - NYC

a. Chapter 450 amends the New York City’s J-51 program, by authorizing the local legislative body to provide exemption benefits, but not abatement benefits, for an expansion of cubic content. Within the provisions, it is required that at least 50% of the original structure remains. The exemption can only be utilized in Manhattan south of 110th Street and north of lower Manhattan, unless aided by governmental grants, loans or other subsidies.

The J-51 program has been primarily responsible for the rehabilitation and upgrading of New York City’s housing stock since 1955. It is an important tool for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development unit. The real property tax exemption benefit provides owners with a real property tax "safety-net" that allows them to upgrade, refurbish, and rehabilitate the City’s housing stock while providing affordable housing to low and moderate income households without the threat of skyrocketing property taxes. [A. 8179, Rules McLaughlin)]

NOTE: This legislation was initiated and supported by the Office of the Mayor of New York City

b. Chapter 490 amends RPTL §489 by eliminating reference to the archaic zoning resolution and replacing the eligibility requirement for the J-51 program with specifications that include square footage and room count; thereby promoting uniformity in the manner in which J-51 eligibility is established.

The prior room count method depicted in the zoning resolution was ambiguous and did not coincide with New York City’s Housing Maintenance Code. This legislation provides greater details in determining the room count not only by the room lay-out but also includes square footage parameters. This will eliminate discrepancies with housing units that have so called "super kitchens" and/or "half rooms".

NOTE: This legislation was initiated and supported by the Office of the Mayor of New York City

D. Commercial Expansion Program - NYC

Chapter 440 extends the eligibility period for the Commercial Expansion Program in Lower Manhattan until March 31, 2007 and the benefit period until March 31, 2013. Previous to this legislation, eligibility for the Commercial Expansion Program (CEP) would have ended in March of 2004 and benefits would have ended in March of 2010.

The CEP provides a real estate tax reduction for new, renewal, or expansion leases for commercial office or industrial space, to include industrial and manufacturing tenants; excluding premises occupied or used for retail, hotel, or residential purposes. The tax abatement is passed through to the tenant as a reduction in rent.

The New York City Office of Economic Development initiated and encouraged passage of this legislation as it has been a successful tool in attracting and retaining tenants in Lower Manhattan.

NOTE: This legislation was initiated and supported by the Office of the Mayor of New York City

V.  2004 OUTLOOK

The Real Property Tax Committee is looking forward to working with and aiding State Legislators, community leaders, and members of the assessing community in defining areas that need improvement, correcting inequities in the assessing process, and providing guidance wherever we can. As the committee heads into the 2004 Legislative Session, we will initially focus our attention on the following issues, and divert to other matters as they arise.

A.  STAR Participation - NYC

It is estimated that approximately one third of the eligible STAR homeowners in New York City have not applied. This is disheartening. The homeowners of New York City have faced a great deal of fiscal hardships in the last few years. They need to be informed and then encouraged to utilize this tax savings program. As Chair of the Committee on Real Property Tax, I will continue advocate for STAR outreach programs and to do what I can to get the message out.

B. New York City Assessment Practices

There continues to be considerable outcry by the residents and community leaders that the assessment practices in New York City are unfair and difficult to comprehend. A main issue involves the assessment of owner occupied condominiums and cooperatives. The current method of assessing condominiums and cooperatives has little to no association with the market value of the residence - a basic standard principle in assessing other residential properties. These homeowners have no immediate practical means in which to determine if the assessed value is correct. At the opposite end, there is concern that a condominium/cooperative dwelling that sells at a similar price as a Class one residence, may have a significantly higher real property tax obligation. Yet, again, it is difficult to determine because of the complexity of the assessing methodology. Equity in the assessing process needs to be addressed in New York City. We will once again call upon the leaders in the New York City Department of Finance to revaluate their assessing practices and to establish a plan in which to address the disparity between Class 1 and 2.

C.  Nassau County Re-evaluation

Nassau County has just implemented a re-evaluation on all properties within its jurisdiction. This is the first true complete up-to-date assessment for Nassau County since 1938. It is anticipated that the introduction of these updated assessments may cause some significant fluctuation in real property tax obligations for class one and two property owners. The Committee will be monitoring the situation and reviewing methods and/or solutions that could assist the residents of Nassau County to transition and adjust to abrupt and substantial changes that may occur.

D.  Equalization Rates

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in establishing "limited" fluctuation in equalization rates (caps). Municipal leaders continue to call upon the legislature to enact legislation that will artificially cap the equalization rates at a lower rate than the State maximum of 5%. The continued request to artificially keep the year to year fluctuation of equalization rates low is a clear signal that an alternative solution is needed.

As you will recall, the equalization rates are based on the state’s measure of each municipality’s level of assessment - which basically indicates how well the municipality is keeping up with the market value of real property within its jurisdiction. By allowing the equalization rate to be artificially lowered the span between the market value and the assessed value will continue to grow which results in creating a greater disparity between tax payers. Basically, the property owner whose property value is increasing by greater amounts than the artificially lowered equalization rate is enjoying a tax break at the expense of the other property owners.

Therefore, the committee will continue its effort to establish methods by which to get beyond the need to tamper with equalization rates. We hope to meet this goal by requesting input and sound advice from legislators, community leaders, residents, and others interested parties.



Total Referred to Committee 317 34 351
Bill Reported - 123   123
To the Floor 0 0 0
To Ways & Means 118 0 118
To Codes 5 0 5
To Rules 0 0 0
To Judiciary 0 0 0
Bills Having Enacting Clause Stricken 2 0 2
Bills Having Committee Reference Change 10 0 10
To Aging 5 0 5
To Cities 1 0 1
To Education 1 0 1
To Veterans Affairs 2 0 2
To Ways & Means 1 0 1
Senate Bills Substituted   18 18
Senate Bills Recalled   4 4
Bills Held for Consideration 182 12 194
# of Bills Signed Into Law 56
# Of Real Property Committee Meetings = 10




340 Winner 265 Authorizes the Town of Horsehead to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from His Tabernacle Family Church, Inc. for property taxes on the 2001 assessment roll.
1034 Sweeney 272 Authorizes the Town of Babylon to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Salvation and Deliverance Church.
1039 Raia 273 Authorizes the Town of Babylon to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church.
1251 Weisenberg 12 Provides that within special assessing units, which are not cities, vacant land adjacent to class one residential real property shall also be class one if owned by the same person or persons.
1410 Magee 443 Applies the STAR exemption to a farm dwelling held by a corporation or partnership provided such dwelling serves as the primary residence of a shareholder or partner.
1668 Parment 406 Amends the residential investment exemption, permitting the City of Jamestown to include property constructed on of after January 1, 2003.
1849 Sweeney 496 Ties purchase price and household income limits for the first-time homebuyers of newly constructed homes for purposes of a real property tax exemption to those defined by the State of New York Mortgage Agency in effect on the date of the contract, rather than the previous date of January 1, 2001.
1995 Sweeney 317 Authorizes the Town of Babylon to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Long Island Progressive Baptist Association.
2413 Sweeney 279 Authorizes the Town of Babylon to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the First Methodist Church.
2773 Sweeney 277 Authorizes the Town of Babylon to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
3589 Englebright 281 Authorizes the Town of Brookhaven to accept a property tax exemption application for certain property purchased by the Town of Brookhaven.
3803 Stringer 548 Requires all assessors to file a financial disclosure statement.
4344 Schimminger 445 Extends for three years provisions for allocation of PILOT payments from lessees of industrial development agencies holding property in the Town of Tonawanda.
4383 Kirwan 280 Authorizes the City of Poughkeepsie to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) Inc.
5514 Miller 567 Authorizes and directs Dutchess County to waive interest and penalties on late payment of school taxes for the 2002-2003 school year, in those cases where timely payment was attempted by a mortgagee from an intended escrow account on behalf of the taxpayer, and, through no fault or negligence of the taxpayer, such payment to the taxing entity was not completed.
5961 Wirth 168 Authorizes local municipalities in counties with a population of more than two-hundred eighteen thousand but less than two-hundred twenty-three thousand inhabitants (i.e. Niagara County) to adopt local legislation that provides a 10% real property tax exemption (not to exceed $3000 times the latest States equalization rate) for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers residing in such municipalities.
6088 Alfano 266 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Congregation Eitz Chayim of Dogwood Park, Inc.
6260 Gromack 347 Authorizes the assessor of the Town of Clarkston to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Rockland Korean Presbyterian Church.
6278 Barra 292 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island.
6323 Barra 289 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Bethlehem Assembly of God.
6325 DiNapoli 431 Extends for three additional years the authority for villages to hold annual tax lien sales as a means of enforcing collection of delinquent taxes.
6357 Weisenberg 323 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Ohr Moshe Torah Institute, Inc.
6358 Weisenberg 293 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Oceanside American Legion Post #1246.
6494 Barra 294 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a real property tax exemption application for certain property located in the Village of Rockville Centre.
6721 DiNapoli 43 Provides for a 2% cap on the maximum base proportion class growth rate in special assessing units that are not cities (i.e. Nassau County) from the fiscal year 2003.
6808 Weisenberg 345 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Shor Yoshuv.
6818 Weisenberg 297 Authorizes the assessor of Nassau County to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Sephardic Congregation of the Five Towns.
6860 Bradley 142 Authorizes Westchester County and its cities, villages, towns, part towns, or special districts to adopt at local option a law, ordinance, or resolution providing a real property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.
6954 McLaughlin 447 Extends the real property exemption for new multiple dwellings to developments consisting of new construction and/or rehabilitation of an existing and/or non-residential space into residential space if at least 51% of the development is new space.
6996 Weisenberg 60 Provides that vacant land in residentially zoned areas in Nassau County be assessed as class one.
7107 Casale 131 Authorizes Columbia County and its towns, villages, and school districts to adopt a local law, ordinance, or resolution providing a real property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.
7148 Delmonte 502 Exempts from taxation any multiple dwelling building converted to a single family dwelling or that is reduced to at most two units within cities with a population of more than 22,000 but less than 23,000 (e.g. Lockport); such buildings shall be exempt for a period of one year to the extent of one hundred per centum of the increase in assessed value and to a lesser level for an additional seven years.
7315C DiNapoli 354 Authorizes the incorporated village of Port Washington North to file an application for a real property tax exemption (RPTL Section 406).
7324 Nesbitt 133 Provides a real property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers in Orleans County.
7339 Jacobs 352 Authorizes the commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the Base Medrash Marph Lenefesh Khal Bnai Mesivta, Inc. for the 1996 and 1997 assessment rolls.
7503 Boyland 355 Makes various technical corrections to provisions of the STAR program and provisions relating to correction of assessment rolls and overdue taxes.
7504 McLaughlin 386 Provides that notice be sent to property owners regarding the discontinuance of an exemption granted on the preceding year’s assessment roll.
7506 Robinson 363 Authorizes the trustee for land held in trust to act as the owner for purposes relating to small claims assessment review procedures.
7516 Schimminger 149 Improve the procedure for the enforcement of tax liens sold by tax districts sold to the State of New York Municipal Bond Bank Agency ("MBBA") or its tax lien entity.
8179 Rules (McLaughlin) 450 Exempts from taxation alterations, improvements, and conversions of buildings and structures provided that at least 50% of the completed construction is that of the pre-existing building.
8290 Rules (Sweeney) 325 Authorizes the Town of Babylon in the county of Suffolk to accept an application for real property tax exemption from the North Lindenhurst Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
8307 Rules (Sidikman) 177 A technical correction to the Chapter 440/Laws of 2002- provides that tax exemption on real property owned by members of voluntary fire or ambulance companies will not apply in counties located in a city with a population of one million or more.
8463 Rules (Hikind) 326 Authorizes the New York City Department of Finance to accept an application for a non-profit real property tax exemption from the Congregation Avnei Pinchos.
8464 Rules (Hikind) 365 Authorizes the City of New York’s Department of Finance to accept and grant an application for real property tax exemption from Bais Yaakov D’Chassidei Gur for the 1989 tax roll and forgive penalties and fees associated with said roll.
8470 Rules (Raia) 364 Provides for a tax exemption and tax rebate for parcels of land owned by the Northport Fire Department in the town of Huntington, County of Suffolk.
8499 Rules (Magee) 534 Extends the scope of the exemption from real property taxation applicable to such owned by a nonprofit organization but leased or otherwise used by a municipal corporation which would otherwise be entitled to the exemption pursuant to RPTL section 406.
8548B Rules (Robinson) 366 Authorizes the New York City’s Department of Finance to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Masjid At-Taqwa.
8554 Rules (McLaughlin) 490 Provides clarification and updates the methodology by which rooms are counted for purposes related to a tax abatement.
8714 Rules (Paulin) 330 Authorizes the assessor of the Village and Town of Scarsdale to accept a nonprofit real property tax exemption application from the Shaarei Tikvah Scarsdale Conservative Congregation for the 2002 assessment roll.
8757 Rules (DiNapoli) 369 Authorizes the County of Nassau to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application for the Iranian Jewish Center/Beth Hadassah Synagogue for 1998 assessment roll.
8931 Rules (McLaughlin) 103 Authorizes, at local option, the City of New York to extend by four years, the existing industrial and commercial incentive program and further stipulates that the application deadline shall be June 30, 2007.
8935 Rules (Hooper) 374 Authorizes the County of Nassau and the Village of Hempstead to accept non-profit real property tax exemption applications from the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity.
8944 Rules (McLaughlin) 440 Authorizes the City of New York, by adoption of local law, to extend for four additional years the existing real property tax abatement program for certain commercial real property.
8967 Rules (Morelle) 539 Excludes recreational vehicles that are four hundred square feet or less in size, self propelled or able to be towed by an automobile or a light truck and designed primarily to be used as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel or seasonal use, from being considered as real property for the purposes of the real property tax levies.
9000 Rules (McLaughlin) 400 Caps the maximum class growth rate for New York City at 2% for fiscal year 2004.
9006 Rules(Levy) 150 Provides for adjusted homestead and non-homestead base proportions cap of 2% for the 2003-2004 assessment in Suffolk County.




894 Magee Requires a copy of an application for an exemption from taxation for certain solar or wind energy systems to be sent to any school district that thereby affected.
895 Pretlow Authorizes the assessor of the Town of Wappinger Falls to accept an application for a nonprofit exemption from the Grace Baptist Church for real property taxes on the 1995-1996 assessment roll.
928 Morelle Requires issuance of a receipt (by the assessor) for the submission of an application for the STAR exemption, upon request of the applicant with the inclusion of a postpaid envelope.
1104 Magee Includes the Board of Fire Commissions among the municipal governmental entities to receive notices in reference to challenging real property assessment if within their taxing jurisdiction.
1221 Gromack Authorizes a partial real property tax exemption for members of the volunteer auxiliary police organizations in Rockland County.
1549 Acampora Authorizes the Town of Riverhead, Suffolk County, to accept a nonprofit real property tax exemption application from The Place For Learning.
1581 Destito Provides, at local option, the authorization to use the Federal definition of adjusted gross income for determining eligibility for the Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Exemption.
2164 Higgins Allows for a retrospective application for the STAR exemption where a purchases of property is after applicable taxable status date.
2214 Sweeney Authorizes and empowers the town board of any town, and the legislative body of any county, by adoption of a local law or ordinance, to authorize the collecting officer to receive taxes on or after 12/1 of the year preceding the year in which such taxes are levied; and establishes provisions for implementing the collection of said taxes.
3190 Hooper Authorizes Nassau County Assessor to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from the First Church of God in Christ, Inc. for the 1992-1995 assessment rolls.
3490 Brennan Establishes a STAR outreach program for the real property owners of NYC and provides instructional guidelines to aid in satisfying the notification process.
3504 Gunther Requires that the assessor must also be notified when a small claims petition for assessment review is filed with the clerk of the Supreme Court.
3802 Stringer Establishes training and certification requirements for assessors of real property and other personnel having professional appraisal duties for cities of 5 million or more and establishes a chief assessor’s position.
4607 Stringer Requires NYC to disclose to petitioners in an assessment review proceedings: the assessments, the assessing method used, any capitalization rate used and any other data or formulas used to determine the valuation of the property in question.
4634 Weisenberg Provides that the STAR exemption shall still be allowed for an eligible individual who is absent from property while receiving health-related care if such property is occupied by a member of the owner’s family within two degrees of consanguinity or a member of the co-owner’s family within two degrees of consanguinity.
6190B Stringer Authorizes NYC Department of Finance to commence civil actions to recover tax deficiencies resulting from improperly lowered assessments due to criminal conduct.
6256B Canestrari Authorizes the City of Albany to accept a real property tax exemption application (pursuant to RPTL Section 404) from the Albany Port District Commission.
7873A Rules (McLaughlin) Allows a senior citizen to substitute a more recent year’s income for purposes of meeting the income eligibility requirements for the enhanced STAR exemption.
8392A Rules (Ferrara) Authorizes the assessor of the Nassau County to accept a nonprofit real property taxes exemption application from the Sisters, Lovers of the Holy Cross for the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 assessment rolls.
8685 Rules (Tocci) Authorizes the assessor of the City of New Rochelle to accept a non-profit real property tax exemption application from Iona College.
8854 Rules (Sweeney) Limits the variation of equalization rates a county for Suffolk County to no more than two percent of the rate established for the 2001-2002 tax year.
9031 Rules (Sweeney) Imposes a temporary 2 percent cap on changes in state equalization rate applicable to certain exemptions in Suffolk County.
9047 Rules Provides a temporary 2% cap on the fluctuation in the State equalization rates set for assessing units in Westchester County.
9048 Rules Provides for the use of an averaging of equalization rates established for assessment rolls finalized in the years 1997 through 2001 for use in Westchester County.
9049 Rules Establishes an alternative equalization rate to be applied for purposes of judicial proceeding to review real property assessments for Westchester County.
9060 Rules (Sweeney) Limits the variation of equalization rates in Suffolk County to no more than two percent from the previous year.

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