Bill Text: NY S05686 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enables any city having a population of one million or more to impose and collect taxes on vacant ground floor commercial premises.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-05-13 - REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS [S05686 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05686-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          5686

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                      May 13, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by  Sen. HOYLMAN -- 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 tax law, in relation to enabling any city  having  a
          population  of  one  million  or  more  to impose and collect taxes on
          vacant ground floor commercial premises

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The  tax law is amended by adding a new section 1201-f to
     2  read as follows:
     3    § 1201-f.  Commercial  vacancy  tax.  (a)  Notwithstanding  any  other
     4  provision  of  law  to the contrary, any city having a population of one
     5  million or more is hereby authorized and empowered to  adopt  and  amend
     6  local  laws  imposing in any such city a tax such as the legislature has
     7  or would have the power and authority to  impose  on  any  ground  floor
     8  commercial  premises that have been vacant for a period of not less than
     9  six months. The tax on such  vacant  ground  floor  commercial  premises
    10  shall  be  measured  as  determined  and calculated in accordance with a
    11  formula or formulas set forth in any such local law, provided  that  any
    12  such tax shall not exceed two thousand dollars per square foot annually.
    13  Any  such  local law may impose such tax at different rates in different
    14  geographical areas of any such city. Such tax shall be  imposed  on  the
    15  owner of such premises.
    16    (b)  Any  such local law shall define the meaning of the term vacancy,
    17  provided that ground floor commercial premises that are not occupied  by
    18  a  tenant,  but  for  which construction documents for the alteration or
    19  renovation of such premises have  been  filed  with  the  department  of
    20  buildings  of  any  such city, or are located in real property for which
    21  construction documents for the alteration or  renovation  of  such  real
    22  property  have  been  filed with the department of buildings of any such
    23  city, which alteration or renovation would render such premises  uninha-

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11289-02-9

        S. 5686                             2

     1  bitable,  shall be deemed not to be vacant until the earlier of: (1) one
     2  year from the filing of such construction documents; or  (2)  one  month
     3  following  the  completion  of  such  alteration or renovation. Any such
     4  local  law  shall  define  any other terms necessary for the imposition,
     5  administration, collection and enforcement of such tax.
     6    (c) Any such local law may provide for exclusions or  exemptions  from
     7  such tax other than those specified in this section.
     8    (d)  Any  such local law may provide for the filing of returns and the
     9  payment of the tax on a monthly basis or on the basis of any  longer  or
    10  shorter period of time.
    11    (e)  For  purposes  of  measuring  the applicable period of vacancy, a
    12  vacancy shall not be deemed to have begun until  at  least  thirty  days
    13  following the date by which an owner of ground floor commercial premises
    14  was  first required to register such premises with the applicable agency
    15  of such city in accordance with  a  local  law  establishing  a  vacancy
    16  registration requirement.
    17    (f)  Such  tax may be imposed, administered, collected and enforced by
    18  the commissioner of finance of such city  by  such  means  and  in  such
    19  manner  as other taxes that are now imposed, administered, collected and
    20  enforced by such commissioner in accordance with the charter or adminis-
    21  trative code of any such city or as otherwise may  be  provided  by  any
    22  such local law.
    23    (g) Any final determination of the amount of any tax payable hereunder
    24  shall  be reviewable for error, illegality or unconstitutionality or any
    25  other reason whatsoever by a proceeding under article  seventy-eight  of
    26  the  civil practice law and rules if application therefor is made to the
    27  supreme court within four months after the giving of the notice of  such
    28  final  determination,  provided, however, that any such proceeding under
    29  article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules shall  not  be
    30  instituted by a taxpayer unless:  (1) the amount of any tax sought to be
    31  reviewed,  with  such  interest and penalties thereon as may be provided
    32  for by local law or regulation, shall be first deposited  and  there  is
    33  filed  an undertaking, issued by a surety company authorized to transact
    34  business in this state and approved by the superintendent  of  financial
    35  services of this state as to solvency and responsibility, in such amount
    36  as  a  justice  of the supreme court shall approve to the effect that if
    37  such proceeding be dismissed or the tax confirmed the taxpayer will  pay
    38  all  costs  and  charges  which  may  accrue  in the prosecution of such
    39  proceeding; or (2) at the option of the taxpayer such undertaking may be
    40  in a sum sufficient to cover the taxes, interest and penalties stated in
    41  such determination plus the costs and charges which may  accrue  against
    42  such  taxpayer  in the prosecution of the proceeding, in which event the
    43  taxpayer shall not be required to pay such taxes, interest or  penalties
    44  as a condition precedent to the application.
    45    (h) Where any tax imposed hereunder shall have been erroneously, ille-
    46  gally  or  unconstitutionally  collected  and application for the refund
    47  thereof duly made to the proper fiscal officer  or  officers,  and  such
    48  officer  or  officers  or,  in the case of a city of one million or more
    49  which has established a tax appeals tribunal, such tax appeals tribunal,
    50  shall have made a determination denying such refund, such  determination
    51  shall  be  reviewable by a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the
    52  civil practice law and rules, provided, however, that such proceeding is
    53  instituted within four months after the giving of  the  notice  of  such
    54  denial,  that  a final determination of tax due was not previously made,
    55  and that an undertaking is filed with the proper fiscal officer or offi-
    56  cers in such amount and with such sureties as a justice of  the  supreme

        S. 5686                             3

     1  court  shall  approve to the effect that if such proceeding be dismissed
     2  or the tax confirmed, the taxpayer will pay all costs and charges  which
     3  may accrue in the prosecution of such proceeding.
     4    (i)  Except in the case of a willfully false or fraudulent return with
     5  intent to evade the tax, no assessment of additional tax shall  be  made
     6  after  the  expiration  of  more  than  three years from the date of the
     7  filing of a return, provided, however, that where  no  return  has  been
     8  filed as provided by law the tax may be assessed at any time.
     9    (j)  Revenues  resulting from the imposition of tax authorized by this
    10  section shall be paid into the treasury of any such city  and  shall  be
    11  credited to and deposited in the general fund of any such city.
    12    (k) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any
    13  person  or  circumstance  shall  be  held invalid, the remainder of this
    14  section and the application  of  such  provision  to  other  persons  or
    15  circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
    16    §  2. This act shall take effect thirty days after the commissioner of
    17  finance for a city with a population of one million or  more  submits  a
    18  report  required  by  a  local  law  establishing a vacancy registration
    19  requirement to the mayor, the speaker of the council and the comptroller
    20  of such city. Such commissioner of finance shall notify the  legislative
    21  bill  drafting  commission  upon  the submission of such report in order
    22  that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely  effective  data
    23  base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furth-
    24  erance  of  effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legislative
    25  law and section 70-b of the public officers law.
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