The NYGFOA Legal and Legislative Committee identify and follow legislation before the State Legislature which could potentially impact government finance. Listed below are significant legislation which was considered during the 2017 Legislative Session.

For more detailed information on any of the laws or bills listed below such as full chapter/bill text, sponsors memos, and prior legislative history, click the link for the New York State Senate or New York State Assembly web site below.

New York State Senate

New York State Assembly

2017 Legislative Watch

Legislation of Interest (as of 8/24/17)

Local Finance Law

A. 2536 (Jenne)/S. 3849 (Valesky)

ELECTRONIC OPEN AUCTION PUBLIC BOND SALE PILOT PROGRAM FOR MUNICIPALITIES: This legislation would add a new section to NYS Local Finance Law to establish a three year pilot program for all municipalities to sell municipal bonds via an open auction format instead of by a closed bid format. Such open auction would be conducted via an electronic means instead of being done in person. This pilot program would be used to assess the financial and administrative advantages of selling bonds via an open auction format by a nationally recognized electronic securities bidding platform. Legislation was passed in 2009 giving the County of Westchester similar authority. This legislation builds upon a new law enacted in 2013 which permits local governments to accept public bond bids electronically. (Assembly Local Government Committee/Passed Senate)

MTA Mobility Tax

S. 4245 (Murphy)

EXEMPTION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FROM THE MTA MOBILITY TAX: Local governments outside of New York City located within the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District from paying the Metropolitan Communter Transportation Tax (MTA) Tax. The current tax, in place since 2009, is set at .34% of employees salaries and wages. (Passed Senate/Assembly Ways and Means Committee)

Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)

A. 3607 (Butler)

ESTABLISHMENT OF OPEB RESERVE FUNDS: Local governments, school districtrs, BOCES, fire districts and other types of municipal corporations would be authorized under the NYS General Municipal Lawto establish a reserve fund to set aside monies to meet other post employment retirement benefits such as retiree health benefits. BOCES would also be added to the list of entities approved to establish a reserve fund for workers compensation claims. (Assembly Local Government Committee)

Real Property Tax Levy Tax Cap

A. 1059 (Galef)

TAX CAP EXCLUSION FOR CAPITAL PROJECTS: The NYS General Municipal Law would be amended to exempt certain capital projects undertaken by a municipality jointly with another municipal corporation from the real property tax levy cap. (Assembly Local Government Committee)

A. 2699 (Steck) and A. 3402 (Abinanti)

SCHOOL DISTRICT TAX CAP OVERRIDES: Under A. 2699 (Steck), school boards would be empowered to override the real property tax levy cap with a supermajority vote of the Board and a majority of qualified school district voters. Under A. 3402 (Abinanti), school boards would be empowered to override the property tax levy cap with 60% of the Board voting to override the cap and a majority of qualified school district voters. Currently a tax cap override for a school district budget requires a 60% approval vote of the budget by qualified school district voters. (Assembly Education Committee)

S. 826 (Young)

TAX CAP RESERVE FUNDS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS: School districts with low combined wealth ratios would be authorized to establish a reserve fund to ensure compliance with the tax cap in future school years. (Senate Education Committee)

A. 3799 (Jaffee)/S. 1707 (Marchione)

"TWO PERCENT IS TWO PERCENT PROPERTY TAX CAP ACT": The real property tax levy cap would be set at 2% vs. the current formula which sets the cap at the lesser of 2% or the inflation factor (the inflation factor has been significantly under 2% for several years).. (Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Senate Local Government Committee)

S. 1708 (Marchione)

TAX CAP EXCLUSION FOR MUNICIPAL CAPITAL PROJECTS: Capital projects of a county, city, town or village, including the construction of roads, sewers, waterlines and bridges, would be exempt from the real property tax levy cap if approved by 60% of qualified voters in the municipality. (Committed to Senate Rules Committee)

State Mandates

A. 2922 (Brindisi)/S. 2323 (Griffo)

STATE FUNDING OF LOCAL MANDATES: The State Legislature would be prohibited from enacting any unfunded mandates that would impose a net additional cost on any municipal corporation. If such a mandate is enacted, the State would be responsible for the full amount of the resulting net additional cost. (Assembly Local Government Committee/Passed Senate)

Cash Management

A. 7619 (Zebrowski)/S. 286 (Robach)

DEPOSITS WITH CREDIT UNIONS AND SAVINGS BANKS: Credit unions, savings banks, savings and loans and federal savings associations would be authorized to accept deposits from municipal corporations. Currently, only commercial banks (with limited exceptions) can accept deposits from municipal corporations. (Assembly Banking Committee/Senate Local Government Committee)

A. 6965 (Schimminger)/S. 4755 (Griffo)

RATE OF INTEREST ON JUDGMENTS AND CLAIMS: The interest rate on judgments and accrued claims, current set in statute at 9%, would be changed to a market-rate of interest. (Assembly Banking Committee/Senate Banking Committee)

Infrastructure

A. 4816 (Palmesano)

CITY REIMBURSEMENT FOR MAINTENANCE OF STATE ARTERIAL HIGHWAYS: The reimbursement rate New York State pays to cities for the maintenance of State arterial highways within the cities' borders would increase from the existing 85 cents per square yard of pavement to $1.80 per square yard of pavement. This rate was last increased since 1987. (Held for Consideration in Assembly Transportation Committee)

School District Finance

A. 7211-A (Paulin)/S. 4156-A (Marcellino)

PILOT PAYMENTS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS DUE TO REDUCTION IN ASSESSMENT: The real property tax law would be amended to require that for any payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), when the assessment of property making PILOT payments is challenged through the grievance process, that any reduction in PILOT payments made to a school district resulting from the challenge would not take effect until the following taxable status year. (Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Committed to Senate Rules Committee)

A. 7353-A (Buchwald)/S. 4563 (Golden)

RESERVE FUND FOR RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO NYSTRS: School districts and BOCES who are participating employers of the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS) would have the option to establish a retirement contribution reserve sub-fund with respect to contributions to NYSTRS. This is currently permitted for contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYS ERS). (Passed Assembly/Committed to Senate Rules Committee)

S. 4723-A (Carlucci)

COLLECTION OF SCHOOL TAXES: This legislation removes the requirement that school districts seek permission from their local town receiver of taxes to collect their own taxes. The school district would be required to notify the town no later than September 1st of each year prior to collecting its own taxes. (Passed Both Houses)

A. 2112 (Nolan) /S. 3203 (DeFrancisco)

RAISING THE CAP ON BOCES DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT SALARIES: This legislation would increase the cap on BOCES District Superintendent salaries for the 2017-18 and subsequent school years by the lesser of 6% over the salary cap of the preceding school year or 98% of the NYS Commisioner of Education's salary earned in the 2017-18 school year. According to NYSCOSS and NYSSBA, this cap has not been increased since 2003. (Assembly Ways and Means Committee/Passed Senate)

A. 5965 (Galef)

EXEMPTING DEBT PAYMENTS ON BOCES CAPITAL PROJECTS FROM THE TAX CAP: Payments on debt made for BOCES capital projects would be excluded from the real property tax levy cap. This would be an expansion of the current debt exclusion provided to school districts (but not other local governments) under the 2011 Real Property Tax Levy Cap legislation. (Passed Both Houses)