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file a map of the proposed district in the office of the clerk

of any municipality in which the proposed district is to be located, and shall provide a copy thereof to the chief executive officer of any such municipality and the presiding officer of the local governing, body, and, upon request, to any other person. The commissioner shall publish a notice of the filing of such proposed map and the availability of copies thereof in a newspaper of general circulation within the area of the proposed district, which notice shall also state that a public hearing will be held to consider the proposed district at a specified time and at a specified place either within the proposed district or easily accessible to the proposed district on a date not less than thirty days after such publication. In addition, the commissioner shall give notice, in writing, of such public hearing to persons owning land within the proposed district. The commissioner shall conduct a public hearing pursuant to such notice, and, in addition, any person shall have the opportunity to present written comments on the proposed district within thirty days after the public hearing. After due consideration of such local needs and desires, including such testimony and comments, if any, the commissioner may affirm, modify or withdraw the proposed district. Provided, however, that

if

the commissioner modifies the proposal to include any land not included in the proposal as it read when the public hearing was

held, the commissioner shall hold another public hearing, on the same type of published and written notice, and with the same opportunity for presentation of written comments after the hearing. Then the commissioner may affirm, modify or withdraw the proposed district, but [he] may not modify it to include land not included in the proposal upon which the second hearing, was held.

3. Upon such affirmation or modification, a map of the district shall be filed by the commissioner of agriculture and markets with the county clerk of each

county in which the district or a portion thereof is located, and publication of such filing shall be made in a newspaper of general circulation within the district to be created. The creation of the district shall become effective thirty days after such filing and publication.

The commissioner of agriculture and markets shall review any district created under this section, in consultation with the advisory council on agriculture, the commissioner of environmental conservation, the secretary of state and the director of the division of the budget, eight, twelve or twenty years after the date of its creation, consistent with the review period set forth in the plan creating such district

or every eight years if the district was adopted prior to August first, nineteen hundred eighty-three, and every eight, twelve twenty year period thereafter, whichever may be applicable. Each such review shall include consultation with local elected officials, planning bodies, agộicultural and agribusiness interests, community leaders, county agricultural and farmland protection boards, and other interested groups, and shall also include a public hearing at a specified time and at a specified place either within the district or easily accessible the proposed distsict, notice of such hearing to be published in a newspaper having general circulation within the district. In addition, the missioner of agriculture and markets shall give notice, in writing, of such public hearing to persons owning land in the district. After

any such review, the commissioner of agriculture and markets may modify such district so as to exclude land which is no longer predominantly unique and irreplaceable agricultural land or to include additional such land, provided: (a) such modification would serve the public interest by sisting in maintaining a viable agricultural industry within the district and the state; (b) the commissioner of environmental conservation has determined that such modification would further state environmental plans, policies and objectives; (c) the secretary of state has determined that such modification' would be consistent with state comprehensive plans, policies and objectives; and (d) such modification has been approved by the director of the division of the budget; provided, further, that if the commissioner of agriculture and markets modifies the district to include additional land, he or she shall hold another public hearing, on the same type of published and written notice. Then the commissioner may again modify or dissolve the district, but [he] may not modify it to include land not included in the proposed modifications upon which the second hearing was held. After any such review the comEXPLANATION—Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law

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missioner of agriculture and markets, after consultation with the advişory council on agriculture, shall dissolve any such district if (a) the land within the district is longer predominantly unique and irreplaceable agricultural land, or (b) the commissioner of environmental conservation has determined that the continuation of the district would not further state environmental plans, policies and objectives, or (c) the secretary of state has determined that the continuation of the district would be inconsistent with state comprehensive plans, policies and objectives. A modification or dissolution of a district shall become effective in the same manner as is provided for in subdivision three of this section, except that in the case of dissolution, a notice of dissolution shall be filed instead of a map.

§ 5. Paragraph b of subdivision 2 of section 304-a of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 774 of the laws of 1987, is amended to read as follows:

b. The land classification system shall be promulgated by rule by the commissioner following a review of comments and recommendations of the advisory council

on agriculture and after a public hearing. In making any revisions to the land classification system the commissioner may, in his or her discretion, conduct a public hearing. The commissioner shall foster participation by county, agricultural [districting advisory committees] and farmland protection boards, district soil and water conservation committees, and the cooperative extension service and consult with other state agencies, appropriate federal agencies, municipalities, the New York state college of agriculture and life sciences

at Cornell university and farm organizations.

§ 6. Subdivision 3 of section 304-a of the agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new paragraph f to read as follows:

f. The agricultural assessment value for land and waters used in aquacultural enterprises shall be the same as that calculated for mineral soil group 1A.

§ 7. Paragraph f of subdivision 4 and subdivision 5 of section 304-a of the agriculture and markets law, as added by chapter 774 of the laws of 1987, are amended to read as follows:

f. Upon completion of the calculation of agricultural assessment values, the state board of equalization and assessment shall publish an annual report, which shall include a schedule of values, citations to data sources and presentation of all calculations.

The state board of equalization and assessment shall transmit copies of the annual report to the governor and legislature, the advisory council on agriculture and other appropriate state agencies and interested parties. The state board of equalization and assessment shall thereupon certify the schedule of agricultural assessment values and the state board of equalization and assessment shall transmit a schedule of such certified values to each assessor. 5.

In carrying out their responsibilities under this section, the state board of equalization and assessment and the commissioner shall keep the

advisory Council agriculture fully apprised on matters relating to its duties and responsibilities.

b. În doing so, the state board of equalization and assessment and the commissioner shall provide, in a timely manner, any materials needed by the advisory Council on agriculture to carry out its responsibilities under this section.

§ 8. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 304-b to read as follows:

§ 304-b. Agricultural district data collection. 1. The commissioner shall develop and maintain, within funds made available for such purposes, information on agricultural districts and lands subject to individual commitment to assist in the agricultural districts program administration and to evaluate the environmental and economic effects of the program.

2. Counties containing agricultural districts or lands subject to individual commitment may develop and maintain, in coordination with the department of agriculture and markets, information concerning districts and individual commitments in a manner prescribed by the commissioner: Owners or operators of land used in agricultural production within agricultural districts or subject to individual commitment shall provide the county with information about their property, including, but not limited to, total acres, number of acres of cropland, number of acres by land classification, if available, principal products, and approximate annual gross sales. The county, shall provide to the commissioner at the time of district creation and review, or upon the filing of an individual com

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mitment, information given to the county by land

operators pursuant to this subdivision.

3. Financial information about farm enterprises received by the county or the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be exempt from disclosure

provided

for in subdivision two of section eighty-seven of the public officers law. Such information may be disclosed only aggregate statistical data on farms or districts as a whole, except where the commissioner determines that disclosure is necessary for the effective administration of this article or to otherwise comply with applicable state or federal law.

4. The commissioner shall file a written report with the governor and the legislature biennially beginning January 'first, nineteen hundred ninety-four concerning the status of the agricultural districts database and agricultural districts program. Such a report shall include, but not be limited to, information included in subdivision two of this section. The report shall also include information pertaining to the conversions of lands from agriculture to non-agricultural uses and conversion penalties assessed, a list of the counties that have established county agricultural and farmland

protection plans, summary of the agricultural protection planning grants program and other relevant physical and economic information pertaining to Iands that are receiving an agricultural assessment pursuant to section three hundred five or three hundred six of this article.

§ 9. Subdivision 1 of section 305 of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 712 of the laws of 1972, the subdivision heading, paragraphs and b, subparagraphs (i) and (iii) of paragraph c, paragraphs d, e and f as amended by chapter 774 of the laws of

para: graph c'as amended by chapter 280 of the laws of 1985, subparagraph (v) of paragraph d as added by chapter 736 of the laws of 1988,

is

amended to read as follows:

1. Agricultural assessments. a. Any owner of land used in agricultural production within an agricultural district shall be eligible for

an agricultural assessment pursuant to this section. If an applicant rents land from another for use in conjunction with the applicant's land for the production for sale of crops, livestock or livestock products, the gross sales value of such products produced on such rented sand shall be added to the gross sales value of such products produced on the land of the applicant for purposes of determining, eligibility for an agricultural assessment on the land of the applicant. Such assessment shall be granted only upon an annual application by the owner of such land a form prescribed by the state board of equalization and assessment. The applicant shall furnish to the assessor such information

the state board of equalization and assessment shall require, including [land] classification information prepared for the applicant's land

water bodies used in agricultural production by the soil and water conservation district office within the county. Such application shall be filed with the assessor of the assessing unit on or before the appropriate taxable status date. If the assessor is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to an agricultural assessment, the assessor shall approve the application and the land shall be assessed pursuant to this section. Not less than ten days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to assessments, the assessor shall mail to each applicant, who has included with the application at least one self-addressed, pre-paid envelope, a notice of the approval or denial of the application. Such tice shall be on a form prescribed by the state board of equalization and assessment which shall indicate the manner in which the total assessed value is apportioned among the various portions of the property subject to agricultural assessment and those other portions of the property not eligible for agricultural assessment as determined for the tentative assessment roll and the latest final assessment roll. Failure to mail

any such notice or failure of the owner to receive the same shall not prevent the levy, collection and enforcement of the payment of the taxes on such real property.

b. That portion of the value of land utilized for agricultural production within an agricultural district which represents

above the agricultural assessment as determined in accordance with this subdivision shall not be subject to real property taxation. Such excess amount

any

shall be entered on the assessment roll in the manner prescribed by the state board of equalization and assessment. EXPLANATION-Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [] is old law

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(i) The assessor shall utilize the agricultural assessment values per acre certified pursuant to section three hundred four-a of this article in determining the amount of the assessment of lands eligible for agricultural assessments by multiplying those values by the number of acres of land utilized for agricultural production and adjusting such result by application of the latest state equalization rate or a special equalization rate as may be established and certified by the state board of equalization and assessment for the purpose of computing, the agricultural assessment pursuant to this paragraph. This resulting amount shall be the agricultural assessment for such lands.

(ii) Where the latest state equalization rate exceeds one hundred, or where a special equalization rate which would otherwise be established for the purposes

of this section would exceed one hundred, a special equalization rate of one hundred shall be established and certified by the state board for the purpose of this section.

(iii), Where a special equalization rate has been established and certified by the state board for the purposes of this paragraph, the assessor is directed and authorized to recompute the agricultural assessment on the assessment roll by applying such special equalization rate instead of the latest state equalization rate, and to make the appropriate corrections on the assessment roll, subject to the provisions of 'title two of article twelve of the real property tax law.

d. (i) [If any land within agricultural district which last received an agricultural assessment on an assessment roll prepared on the basis of a taxable status date prior to March first, nineteen hundred eighty-eight is converted to a use other than for agricultural production, parcels, as described on the assessment roll which include land so converted, shall be subject to penalty taxes which shall be levied and collected by or on behalf of each taxing jurisdiction, in the same manner as other taxes, on the assessment roll prepared on the basis of the first taxable status date on which the assessor considers the land to have been converted. Penalty taxes shall be determined by applying the applicable tax rates for each year to the excess amount of assessed valuation of such land as set forth on each of the five assessment rolls preceding the assessment roll upon which penalty taxes will be levied, as provided for in paragraphs a and b of this subdivision. If such land constitutes only portion of a parcel as described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall determine the apportioned assessment and agricultural assessment attributable to such portion for each of the preceding five assessment rolls. The difference between the apportioned assessment and the apportioned agricultural assessment shall constitute the excess amount of valuation upon which penalty taxes shall be determined.

(ii)]. If land within an agricultural district which received an agri-
cultural assessment (on an assessment roll prepared on the basis of a
taxable status date on or after March first, nineteen hundred eighty;
eight,] is converted (to a use other than for agricultural production,]
parcels, as described on the assessment roll which include land so con-
verted shall be subject to (penalty taxes) payments equalling five times
the taxes

in the last year in which the land benefited from an
agricultural assessment, plus interest of six percent per year
pounded annually for each year in which an agricultural' assessment was
granted, not exceeding five years. The amount of taxes saved for the
last year in which the land benefited from an agricultural assessment
shall be determined by applying the applicable tax rates to the
amount of assessed valuation of such land over its agricultural assess-
ment as set forth on the last assessment roll which indicates such
excess. If only portion of a parcel as described on the assessment
roll is converted, the assessor shall apportion the assessment and agri,
cultural assessment attributable to the converted portion, as determined
for the last assessment roll for which the assessment of such portion
exceeded

its agricultural assessment. The difference between the apporo
tioned assessment and the apportioned agricultural assessment shall be
the amount upon which [penalty taxes] payments shall be determined.
[Penalty taxes) Payments shall be added by or on behalf of each taxing
jurisdiction to the taxes levied on the assessment roll prepared on the
basis of the first taxable status date on which the assessor

considers
the land to have been converted; provided, however, that no [penalty
taxes] payments shall be imposed if the last assessment roll upon which
the property benefited from an agricultural assessment, was more than
five years prior to the year for which the assessment roli
(penalty taxes] payments would otherwise be levied is prepared.

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(ii) Whenever a conversion occurs, the owner shall notify the assessor within ninety days of the date such conversion is commenced, If the landowner fails to make such notification within the ninety day period, the assessing, unit, by ma jority vote of the governing body, may impose a penalty on behalf of the assessing unit of up to two times the total payments owed, but not to exceed a maximum total penalty of five hundred dollars in addition to any payments owed.

(iii) (a) An assessor who determines that there is liability for (penalty taxes] payments and any penalties assessed pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph shall notify the landowner by mail of such liability at least ten days prior to the date for hearing complaints in relation to assessments. Such notice shall indicate the property to which [penalty taxes] payments apply and describe how the (penalty taxes ] payments shall be determined. Failure to provide such notice shall not affect the levy, collection enforcement

payment of [taxes) payments.

(b) Liability for (penalty taxes] payments shall be subject to administrative and judicial review provided by law for review

of assessments.

(iv) If such land or any portion thereof is converted to a use other than for agricultural production by virtue of oil or gas exploration, development, or extraction activity or by virtue of a taking by, eminent domain or other involuntary proceeding other than a tax sale, the land

portion so converted shall not be subject to [penalty taxes ] payments. If the land so converted constitutes only a portion of a parcel described on the assessment roll, the assessor shall apportion the assessment, and adjust the agricultural assessment attributable to the portion of the parcel not subject to such conversion by subtracting the proportionate part of the agricultural assessment attributable to the portion so converted. Provided further that land within an agricultural district and eligible for an agricultural assessment shall not

be considered to have been converted to a use other than for agricultural production solely due to the conveyance of oil and gas rights associated with that land.

(v) An assessor who imposes any such (penalty taxes] payments shall annually report such [taxes) payments to the state board of equalization and assessment, in a manner and form determined by the state board by rules and regulations.

(vi) The assessing unit, by majority vote of the governing body, may impose a minimum payment amount, not to exceed one hundred dollars.

e. In connection with any district created under section three hundred four of this article, the state shall provide assistance to each taxing jurisdiction in an amount equal to one-half of the tax loss that results from requests for agricultural assessments in the district. The amount of such tax loss shall be computed annually by applying the applicable tax rate to an amount computed by subtracting the agricultural assessment from the assessed value of the property on the assessment roll completed and filed prior to July first, nineteen hundred seventy-one, taking into consideration any change in the level of assessment. The' chief fiscal officer of a taxing' jurisdiction entitled to state assistance under this article shall make application for such assistance to the state board of equalization and assessment on a form approved by such board and containing such information as the board shall require. Upon approval of the application by such board, such assistance shall be apportioned and paid to such taxing jurisdiction on the audit and warrant of the state comptroller out of moneys appropriated by the legislature for the purpose of this article; provided, however, that any such assistance payment shall be reduced by one-half the amount of any, (penalty taxes] payments levied under subparagraph (i) of paragraph d of this subdivision, for land in any district created under section three hundred four of this article, unless one-half the amount of such [penalty taxes] payments has already been used to reduce a previous assistance payment under this paragraph.

f. Notwithstanding any inconsistent general, special or local law to the contrary, if a natural disaster, act of God, continued

adverse weather conditions shall destroy the agricultural production and such fact is certified by the cooperative extension service and, as a result, such production does not produce an average gross sales value of ten thousand dollars or more, the owner may nevertheless qualify for EXPLANATION—Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law

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