The Business Council supports S.8138-B (Martinez) / A.10252-A (Stern), which would amend the Real Property Tax Law to allow localities to defer property taxes and implement a process for installment payments during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
Any assistance that can help taxpayers is welcomed by those who call New York home. A heavy burden has been placed on property owners, particularly small businesses, who have dealt with the numerous challenges resulting from the shutdown orders related to the COVID 19 pandemic. As residents and businesses experience this financial hardship, remedies including this legislation, the eviction moratorium, and the many other Orders signed by the Governor have provided much needed relief to residents as New York continues to recover from this crisis.
The legislation would grant localities the the flexibility to create as many installment payments as necessary to provide tax relief. With New York having some of the highest property taxes in the country, allowing municipalities to have this option will provide support that could not come at a better time. Until the State of Emergency is over, helping property owners by pushing back the date that taxes are owed and permitting installment payments is good policy.
During the deferment period, no additional interest or penalties would accumulate and once the emergency is lifted, taxes would be collected in installments. Additionally, taxing authorities can not defer scheduled payments of taxes from other taxing jurisdictions without them passing a law to do so. Tax payments would only be deferred up to 120 days after the tax original due date.
While we understand how critical the collection of property taxes is to the financial stability of the counties, this legislation will enable residents and businesses to meet their tax obligation in a reasonable and timely manner, while at the same time not putting their own financial solvency at risk. On behalf of our members, we respectfully request that the Executive sign this legislation which will provide much needed property tax relief to businesses throughout the New York State, so that they will be better positioned to fully open when the State finally emerges from the COVID-19 crisis.