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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

A.5503 (Galef) / S.2644 (Little)

Support

SUBJECT:

Assessment Ceilings for Local Public Telecommunications Utility Mass Real Property

 

DATE:

May 29, 2013

 

The Business Council supports this legislation which would create a uniform process of taxation on utility transmission property (wires; poles etc.). Current law assesses such property on public lands under a state standard set by the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF), while such property located on private lands is assessed under local government standards. This bill would assess certain utility transmission property that runs through private property, just as it now does for public property.

This bill should be enacted because it creates uniformity and predictability in the valuation of public utility infrastructure regardless of where the property is located. This would relieve a heavy burden placed on utilities that have to contend with hundreds of assessing jurisdictions with varying standards of valuation. Centralizing this task within DTF makes good sense. They have the staff, the resources, and the history to properly perform these tasks statewide.

This bill would also alleviate some of the costs to local governments for performing these assessments every year, relieving a burden that could save some municipalities millions of dollars. Ultimately this measure creates a more efficient and less costly process for utilities while putting more money in the pockets of taxpayers.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge lawmakers to pass this legislation.