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Legislative Memo

Ken Pokalsky
Vice President
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.1077(Golden)/A.7377(Farrell)

Support

SUBJECT:

Telecommunications Real Property Tax Expansion

 

DATE:

May 8, 2015

 

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. opposes this bill which amends the real property tax law in order to expand the type of telecommunication equipment that is subject to "real property" making such equipment assessable and taxable. The bill would include “conduits for conducting or transmitting electricity, power, light or other energy or substance within the definition of real property.”

In 2012, a New York Appellate Division decision stated that New York City did not have statutory authority to assess fiber optic cables and equipment under the real property tax law. This bill would overturn that decision  and would lead to a considerable property tax increase on certain telecommunications providers across the State.

New York State already has one of the highest local property tax burdens in the country placed on its business and homeowners.  Each year, businesses pay about $17 billion in real property taxes statewide.  This bill would increase the property tax burden on certain telecommunications that will only exacerbate an already complex and unfair administration of real property tax. The end result will be less investment in fiber optic cable infrastructure which hurts both the telecommunications industry and their consumers.

For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully opposes this legsislation.