GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL AUTHORIZING PROPERTY TAX DEFERMENT AND INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS (added 2-19-21)
On Saturday, January 30, the Governor signed into law Chapter 389 of the Laws of 2020 which permits municipalities, while the COVID-19 state of emergency is in effect, to adopt a local law to defer payment of property taxes and special ad valorem levies for a period not to exceed 120 days past the original payment due date, or to permit as many installment payments as necessary, to be determined by the local legislative body, for a period not to exceed 120 days past the original payment due date. Such local law would have to specify the date (or dates in the case of installment payments) upon which such payments are due.
COVID-19 EMERGENCY EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE PREVENTION ACT OF 2020 (added 1-7-21)
On December 28, Governor Cuomo signed into law the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 which, among other things, places a moratorium in certain instances on municipal tax foreclosures and tax lien sales relating to residential real property. Specifically, this law places a stay on municipal tax foreclosures and tax lien sales for any individual owning 10 or fewer residential dwelling units and who certifies (by completing the appropriate declaration) that he or she has endured financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. It is important to note that the law defines tax lien sale or tax foreclosure to include “any such tax lien sale or tax foreclosure pursuant to article 11 of the real property tax law, or any general, special or local law related to real property tax lien sales or real property tax foreclosures.” It is the responsibility of the enforcing officer or entity to notify the respondent of their rights under the Act at least thirty days prior to the date of the tax lien sale or upon the filing of a petition of foreclosure. The enforcing officer or entity must also provide the respondent with a link to the Hardship Declaration form included in this statute. If the respondent submits the Hardship Declaration, the Act requires that the proceeding against their property be stayed through May 1, 2021.
MORATORIUM ON TERMINATION OF RESIDENTIAL UTILITY SERVICE (added 11-2-20)
THIRD QUARTER 2020 LOCAL SALES TAX COLLECTIONS (added 11-2-20)
EXTENDING THE INTEREST-FREE PERIOD ON PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS (updated 5-12-20)
EXTENSION OF PAYMENT DEADLINES FOR PROPERTY TAXES AND OTHER LOCAL FEES/CHARGES (updated 4-9-20)
Local governments do not have unilateral authority to extend the interest-free period with respect to the payment of property taxes. This may only be done pursuant to subdivision 2 of section 925-a of the Real Property Tax Law which provides that “during a state disaster emergency, the Governor may, by executive order issued upon the request of the chief executive officer of a county, city, town, village or school district in the affected area, extend by up to twenty-one days the final date for paying taxes without interest or penalty in such county, city, town, village or school district. If such an extension is granted, and any taxes are not paid by the final date so provided, those taxes shall be subject to the same interest and penalties that would have applied if no extension had been granted.” Additionally, the Governor has the authority, under his emergency powers, to unilaterally provide for such an extension of the interest-free period on a statewide basis. To date, he has taken no such action. If you are a city and your tax payment deadline(s) is dictated by local law or your charter, you may have the ability to suspend such local law by issuing an emergency order after declaring a local state of emergency. Please refer to NYCOM's Guide to Local State Government Emergency Management and the Department of Health’s detailed guidance on the procedure for obtaining approval.
With respect to other types of fees or late payments that are established via local law (e.g., water, sewer, garbage), local governments do have the ability to extend or modify late penalties and payments dates by promulgating an emergency order that suspends the relevant local law. Such action may only be taken after a municipality declares a local state of emergency. Again, you should refer to NYCOM's Guide to Local State Government Emergency Management and the Department of Health’s detailed guidance on the procedure for obtaining approval.