Chapter 263

Chapter 263

TAXATION

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]  

GENERAL REFERENCES

 Assessment of property — See Ch. 7.

  

ARTICLE I

Utility Tax

[Adopted 4-14-1952 by L.L. No. 1-1952]

  • 263-1. Imposition of tax. [Amended 12-9-1996 by L.L. No. 8-1996]

Pursuant to the authority granted by § 5-530 of the Village Law of the State of New York, a tax equal to 1% of its gross income from and after the first day of May 1952 is hereby imposed upon every utility doing business in the Village of Fredonia which is subject to the supervision of the State Department of Public Service and which has a gross income for the 12 months ending May 31 in excess of $500, except motor carriers or brokers subject to such supervision under § 240 of the Transportation Law; and a tax equal to 1% of its gross operating income from and after the first of May 1952 is hereby imposed upon every other utility doing business in the Village of Fredonia which has a gross operating income for the 12 months ending May 31 in excess of $500, which taxes shall have application only within the territorial limits of the Village of Fredonia and shall be in addition to any and all other taxes and fees imposed by any other provision of law. Such taxes shall not be imposed on any transaction originating or consummated outside of the territorial limits of the Village of Fredonia, notwithstanding that some act is necessarily performed with respect to such transaction within such limits. 

  • 263-2. Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated: 

GROSS INCOME — Includes receipts received in or by reason of any sale, conditional or otherwise (except sales hereinafter referred to with respect to which it is provided that profits from the sale shall be included in “gross income,” made or service rendered for ultimate consumption or use by the purchaser in the Village of Fredonia, including cash, credits and property of any kind or nature (whether or not such sale is made or such service is rendered for profit), without any deduction therefrom on account of the cost of the property sold, the cost of the materials used, labor or services or other costs, interest or discount paid or any other expense whatsoever; also, profits from the sale of securities; also, profits from the sale of real property growing out of the ownership or use of or interest in such property; also, profit from the sale of personal property (other than property of a kind which would properly be included in the inventory of the taxpayer if on hand at the close of the period for which a return is made); also, receipts from interest, dividends and royalties derived from sources within the Village of Fredonia other than such as are received from a corporation a majority of whose voting stock is owned by the taxpaying utility, without any deduction therefrom for any expenses whatsoever incurred in connection with the receipt thereof; and also, profits from any transaction (except sales for resale and rentals) within the Village of Fredonia whatsoever; provided, however, that the words “gross income” shall include, in the case of a utility engaged in selling telephony or telephone service, only receipts from local exchange service wholly consummated within the Village of Fredonia and, in the case of a utility engaged in selling telegraphy or telegraph service, only receipts from transactions wholly consummated within the Village of Fredonia.  

GROSS OPERATING INCOME — Includes receipts received in or by reason of any sale, conditional or otherwise, made for ultimate consumption or use by the purchaser of gas, electricity, steam, water, refrigeration, telephony or telegraphy or in or by reason of the furnishing for such consumption of use of gas, electric, steam, water, refrigerator, telephony or telegraphy or in or by the Village of Fredonia, including cash, credits and property of any kind or nature, without any deduction therefrom on account of the cost of the property sold, the cost of materials used, labor or services or other costs, interest or discount paid or any other expenses whatsoever.  

PERSON — Persons, corporations, companies, associations, joint-stock associations, copartnerships, estates, assignees of rents, any persons acting in a fiduciary capacity or any other entities and persons, their assignees, lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever or by any other means, except the state, municipalities, political and civil subdivisions of the state or municipality and public districts.  

UTILITY — Includes every person subject to the supervision of the State Department of Public Service, except persons engaged in the business of operating or leasing sleeping and parlor railroad cars or of operating railroads other than street surface, rapid transit, subway and elevated railroads, and also includes every person (whether or not such person is subject to such supervision) who sells gas, electricity, steam, water, refrigeration, telephony or telegraphy delivered through mains, pipes or wires or furnishes gas, electric, steam, water, refrigerator, telephone or telegraph service by means of mains, pipes or wires, regardless of whether such activities are the main business of such person or are only incidental thereto or of whether use is made of the public streets.  

  • 263-3. Records to be kept.

Every utility subject to tax under this article shall keep such records of its business and in such form as the Village treasurer may require, and such records shall be preserved for a period of three years, except that the Village Treasurer may consent to their destruction within that period or may require that they be kept longer. 

  • 263-4. Filing of returns.

Every utility subject to tax hereunder shall file annually, on or before the 25th day of March, a return for the 12 calendar months preceding such return date or any portion thereof for which the tax imposed hereby is effective; provided, however, that in lieu of the annual return required by the foregoing provisions, any utility may file quarterly, on or before September 25, December 25, March 25 and June 25, a return for the three calendar months preceding each such return date and, in the case of the first such return, for all preceding calendar months during which the tax imposed hereby was effective. Every return shall state the gross income or gross operating income for the period covered thereby. Returns shall be filed with the Village Treasurer on a form to be furnished by him for such purpose and shall contain such other data, information or matter as he may require to be included therein. The Village Treasurer, in order to ensure payment of the tax imposed, may require at any time a further or supplemental return, which shall contain any data that may be specified by him, and he may require any utility doing business in the Village of Fredonia to file an annual return, which shall contain any data specified by him, regardless of whether the utility is subject to tax under this article. Every return shall have annexed thereto an affidavit of the head of the utility making the same or of the owner or of a copartner thereof or of a principal officer of the corporation, if such business is conducted by a corporation, to the effect that the statements contained therein are true. 

  • 263-5. Payment of tax.

At the time of filing a return as required by this article, each utility shall pay to the Village Treasurer the tax imposed by this article for the period covered by such return. Such tax shall be due and payable at the time of filing the return or, if a return is not filed when due, on the last day of which the return is required to be filed. 

  • 263-6. Insufficient or unsatisfactory returns.

     A. In case any return filed pursuant to this article shall be insufficient or unsatisfactory to the Village Treasurer and if a corrected or sufficient return is not filed within 20 days after the same is required by notice from him or if no return is made for any period, the Village Treasurer shall determine the amount of tax due from such information as he is able to obtain and, if necessary, may estimate the tax on the basis of external indexes or otherwise. He shall give notice of such determination to the person liable for such tax. Such determination shall finally and irrevocably fix such tax, unless the person against whom it is assessed shall, within 30 days after the giving of notice of such determination, apply to the Village Treasurer for a hearing or unless the Village Treasurer, of his own motion, shall reduce the same. After such hearing, the Village Treasurer shall give notice of his decision to the person liable for the tax. Such decision may be reviewed by a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Act of the State of New York if application therefor is made within 90 days after the giving of notice of such decision. An order to review such decision shall not be granted unless the amount of any tax sought to be reviewed, with interest and penalties thereon, if any, shall be first deposited with the Village Treasurer and an undertaking filed with him, in such amount and with such sureties as a Justice of the Supreme Court shall approve, to the effect that, if such proceeding be dismissed or the tax confirmed, the applicant will pay all costs and charges which may accrue in the prosecution of such proceeding, or, at the option of the applicant, such undertaking may be in a sum sufficient to cover the tax, interest, penalties, costs and charges aforesaid, in which event the applicant shall not be required to pay such tax, interest and penalties as a condition precedent to the granting of such order.

     B. Except in the case of a willfully false or fraudulent return with intent to evade the tax, no assessment of additional tax shall be made after the expiration of more than three years from the date of the filing of a return, provided, however, that where no return has been filed as required by this article, the tax may be assessed at any time.

  • 263-7. Notification of taxpayer.

Any notice authorized or required under the provisions of this article may be given by mailing the same to the person for whom it is intended, in a postpaid envelope, addressed to such person at the address given by him in the last return filed by him under this article or, if no return has been filed, then to such address as may be obtainable. The mailing of such notice shall be presumptive evidence of the receipt of the same by the person to whom addressed. Any period of time, which is determined according to the provisions of this article by the giving of notice, shall commence to run from the date of mailing of such notice. 

  • 263-8. Penalty for failure to file.

Any person failing to file a return or corrected return or to pay any tax or any portion thereof within the time required by this article shall be subject to a penalty of 5% of the amount of tax due, plus 1% of such tax for each month of delay or fraction thereof, excepting the first month, after such return was required to be filed or such tax became due; but the Village Treasurer, for cause shown, may extend the time for filing any return and, if satisfied that the delay was excusable, may remit all or any portion of the penalty fixed by the foregoing provisions of this section. 

  • 263-9. Tax refunds.

If, within one year from the payment of any tax or penalty, the payer thereof shall make application for a refund thereof and the Village Treasurer or the court shall determine that such tax or penalty or any portion thereof was erroneously or illegally collected, the Village Treasurer shall refund the amount so determined. For like cause and within the same period, a refund may be so made on the initiative of the Village Treasurer. However, no refund shall be made of a tax or penalty paid pursuant to a determination of the Village Treasurer, as hereinbefore provided, unless the Village Treasurer, after a hearing as hereinbefore provided or of his own motion, shall have reduced the tax or penalty or it shall have been established in a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Act of the State of New York that such determination was erroneous or illegal. All refunds shall be made out of moneys collected under this article. An application for a refund, made as hereinbefore provided, shall be deemed an application for the revision of any tax or penalty complained of, and the Village Treasurer may receive additional evidence with respect thereto. After making his determination, the Village Treasurer shall give notice thereof to the person interested, and he shall be entitled to an order to review such determination under said Article 78, subject to the provision hereinbefore contained relating to the granting of such an order. 

  • 263-10. Tax to constitute operating cost.

The tax imposed by this article shall be charged against and be paid by the utility and shall not be added as a separate item to bills rendered by the utility to customers or others but shall constitute a part of the operating costs of such utility. 

  • 263-11. Action to enforce payment; lien.

Whenever any person shall fail to pay any tax or penalty imposed by this article, the Village Attorney shall, upon the request of the Village Treasurer, bring an action to enforce payment of the same. The proceeds of any judgment obtained in any such action shall be paid to the Village Treasurer. Each such tax and penalty shall be a lien upon the property of the person liable to pay the same, in the same manner and to the same extent that the tax and penalty imposed by § 186-a of the Tax Law is made a lien. 

  • 263-12. Additional rules and regulations.

In the administration of this article, the Village Treasurer shall have power to make such reasonable rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary for the exercise of his powers and the performance of his duties and to prescribe the form of blanks, reports and other records relating to the administration and enforcement of the tax, to take testimony and proofs, under oath, with reference to any matter within the line of his official duty under this article and to subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and documents. 

  • 263-13. Confidentiality of returns; penalties for offenses.

     A. Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for the Village Treasurer or any agent, Clerk or employee of the Village of Fredonia to divulge or make known in any manner the amount of gross income or gross operating income or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any return under this article. The officer charged with the custody of such returns shall not be required to produce any of them or evidence of anything contained in them by any action or proceeding in any court, except on behalf of the Village of Fredonia in an action or proceeding under the provisions of this article or on behalf of the State Tax Commission in an action or proceeding under the provisions of the Tax Law of the State of New York or on behalf of any party to any action or proceeding under the provisions of this article when the returns or of facts shown thereby are directly involved in such action or proceeding, in either of which events the court may require the production of and may admit in evidence so much of such returns or facts shown thereby as are pertinent to the action or proceeding and no more. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the delivery to a person or his duly authorized representative of a copy of any return filed by him, nor to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular returns and the items thereof or the publication of delinquent lists showing the names of persons who have failed to pay their taxes at the time and in the manner provided for by this article, together with any relevant information which, in the opinion of the Village Treasurer, may assist in the collection of such delinquent taxes, or the inspection by the Village Attorney or other legal representatives of the Village of Fredonia of the return of any person who shall bring action to set aside or review the tax based thereon or against whom an action has been instituted in accordance with the provisions of this article.

     B. Any offense against the foregoing secrecy provisions shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, and if the offender is an officer, agent, Clerk or employee of the Village of Fredonia, he shall be dismissed from office and shall be incapable of holding any office or employment in the Village of Fredonia for a period of five years thereafter.

     C. Notwithstanding any provisions of this article, the Village Treasurer may exchange with the chief fiscal officer of any city or any officer of any other village in the State of New York information contained in returns filed under this article, provided that such city or other village grants similar privileges to the Village of Fredonia and provided that such information is to be used for tax purposes only, and the Village Treasurer shall, upon request, furnish the State Tax Commission with any information contained in such returns.

  • 263-14. Deposit of taxes and penalties.

All taxes and penalties received by the Village Treasurer under this article shall be paid into the Treasury of the Village and shall be credited to and deposited in the general fund of the Village.  

ARTICLE II

Senior Citizens Tax Exemption

[Adopted 6-9-1970 by L.L. No. 1-1970]

  • 263-15. Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to grant a partial exemption from taxation to the extent of 50% of the assessed valuation of real property which is owned by certain persons with limited income who are 65 years of age or over, meeting the requirements set forth in § 467 of the Real Property Tax Law. 

  • 263-16. Tax exemption granted; conditions. [Amended 5-29-1973 by L.L. No. 1-1973; 4-18-1977 by L.L. No. 1-1977; 2-9-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981; 1-28-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991; 4-12-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999; 1-12-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]

Real property owned by persons 65 years of age or over shall be exempt from Village taxes to the extent of 50% of the assessed valuation, subject to the following conditions: 

     A. Application for such exemption must be filed by the owner, or all the owners of the property as provided by § 467(5) or § 467(5-a) of the Real Property Tax Law.

     B. The income of the owner or combined income of the property owners must not exceed $17,000 for the income tax year immediately preceding the date of making application as provided by § 467(3) of the Real Property Tax Law. [Amended 2-12-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007; 1-28-2008 by L.L. No. 1-2008; 12-28-2009 by L.L. No. 9-2009]

     C. The provisions of § 467 of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York now in effect, and as may be amended from time to time, shall apply to and govern the determination of the exemption from taxation permitted by this article to the extent provided in § 263-16B of this article and the procedures relative thereto as if said § 467 had been more particularly set forth herein.

     D. The property must be used exclusively for residential purposes, be occupied in whole or part by the owners and constitute the legal residence of the owners as provided and more fully set forth in § 467 of the Real Property Tax Law.

  • 263-17. Penalties for offenses.

Any conviction of having made any willful false statement in the application for the exemption of § 263-16 shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 and shall disqualify the applicant or applicants from further exemption for a period of five years.  

ARTICLE III

Alternative Veterans Exemption

[Adopted 11-13-1984 by L.L. No. 6-1984]

  • 263-18. Title.

This article shall be entitled “A Local Law Not to Provide the Veteran’s Exemption Provided by § 458-a of the Real Property Tax Law.” 

  • 263-19. Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to provide that no exemption from real property taxes shall be granted pursuant to § 458-a of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York. 

  • 263-20. No exemption to be granted.

Pursuant to the provisions of Subdivision 4 of § 458-a of the Real Property Tax Law of the State of New York, no exemption from real property taxes shall be granted pursuant to § 458-a of the Real Property Tax Law for purposes of real property taxes levied for the Village of Fredonia.  

ARTICLE IV

Home Improvement Exemption

[Adopted 6-14-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]

  • 263-21. Exemption granted.

Residential buildings, which for the purposes of this article shall mean any building or structure designed and occupied exclusively for residential purposes by not more than two families, that are reconstructed, altered, or improved shall be exempt from taxation levied by the Village of Fredonia on the increase in assessed value attributable to such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement to the extent provided hereinafter, pursuant to § 421-F of the New York State Real Property Tax Law. The length of said exemption shall be eight years. Such exemption shall be computed in accordance with the following table:

Year of Exemption Percentage of Exemption Base Exempt from Tax
1 100%
2 87.5%
3 75%
4 62.5%
5 50%
6 37.5%
7 25%
8 12.5%

 

 

  • 263-22. Exemption base; market value; limit.

     A. The exemption base shall be the increase in assessed value as determined in the initial year of the term of the exemption, except as provided in Subsection B of this section.

     B. In any year in which a change in level of assessment of 15% or more is certified for a final assessment roll pursuant to the rules of the state board (ORPS), the exemption base shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which shall be the total assessed value of the parcel on such final assessment roll (after accounting for any physical or quantity changes to the parcel since the immediately preceding assessment roll), and the denominator of which shall be the total assessed value of the parcel on the immediately preceding final assessment roll. The result shall be the new exemption base. The exemption shall thereupon be recomputed to take into account the new exemption base, notwithstanding the fact that the Assessor receives certification of the change in level of assessment after the completion, verification, and filing of the final assessment roll. In the event that the Assessor does not have custody of the roll when such certification is received, the Assessor shall certify the recomputed exemption in a manner authorized by the New York State Real Property Tax Law.

     C. The exemption shall be limited to a maximum of $80,000 in increased market value of the property attributable to such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement, and any increase in market value shall not be eligible for an exemption pursuant to this article. The market value of such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement shall be equal to the increased assessed value attributable to such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement divided by the most recently established state equalization rate or special equalization rate, unless such rate is 95% or more, in which case the increase in assessed value attributable to such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement is to be considered equal to the market value.

  • 263-23. Requirements.

No exemption pursuant to this article shall be granted for reconstruction, alteration, or improvement unless: 

     A. Such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement was commenced subsequent to the effective date of this article.

     B. The value of such reconstruction, alteration, or improvement exceeds $3,000.

     C. The greater portion, as so determined by square footage, of the building reconstructed, altered, or improved is at least five years old.

     D. The reconstruction, alteration, or improvement is not ordinary maintenance or repairs.

  • 263-24. Exemption discontinuance.

     A. In the event that a building granted an exemption pursuant to this article ceases to be used primarily for residential purposes or title thereto is transferred to other than the heirs or distributees of the owner, the exemption granted pursuant to this article shall cease.

     B. Upon determining that an exemption granted pursuant to this article should be discontinued, the Assessor shall mail a notice so stating to the owner or owners thereof at the time in the manner provided by § 510 of the NYS Real Property Tax Law. Such owner or owners shall be entitled to seek administrative and judicial review of such action in the manner provided by law, provided that the burden shall be on such owner or owners to establish eligibility for the exemption.

  • 263-25. Application to be filed.

Any exemption pursuant to this article shall be granted only upon application by the owner thereof on the form prescribed by the state board. The application shall be filed with the assessor of the Town of Pomfret on or before the taxable status date of March 1, to be eligible for an exemption to be entered on the assessment roll prepared on the basis of said taxable status date. Improvements to residential buildings must be completed to qualify for the exemption pursuant to this article. 

  • 263-26. When effective.

This article shall take effect immediately upon filing of this article with the Secretary of State of New York.