Other Legislative Highlights
Exclusion of Municipal Sewer Debt
In 1963, the voters approved an amendment to the New York State Constitution authorizing municipalities to exclude
indebtedness related to the construction of sewer-related facilities from constitutional debt limits. Every ten years
since, the Constitutional amendment has been approved by the voters; however, without a further extension this
exclusion would have only applied to debt contracted through the end of 2003. Approved by the voters in November,
this legislation will extend the existing provisions for an additional ten years, until January 1, 2014.
A.4887-A (Sweeney)/Chapter 42 of the Laws of 2003
Many municipalities in the State incurred extraordinary expenses as a result of snow and ice removal
expenses from the winter of 2002-03. Several areas of the State were declared federal disaster areas
by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). This chapter authorizes municipalities
to issue serial bonds to finance extraordinary expenses of snow and ice removal, thereby ensuring that rather
than an unmanageably large one-time fiscal hit, costs can be phased in over time.
Private Activity Bond Allocation
A.4417 (Sweeney)/Chapter 32 of the Laws of 2003
The Federal Tax Reform Act of 1996 imposed a ceiling on the volume of private activity and certain other bonds that
may be issued in a state in any given year. The Reform Act also established an allocation formula which provided
50 percent of the Statewide Industrial Development Bond (IDB) cap to State agencies and the remaining 50 percent
to local governments. The Reform Act did, however, permit states to establish an alternative formula for allocation.
This chapter continues the allocation system first implemented in 2000, providing one-third of the bond volume ceiling
to local Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) based on population; one-third to State agencies; and, one-third to a
statewide bond reserve for use by both State and local agencies.
Digital Records of County Proceedings
A.3302-A (Destito)/Chapter 627 of the Laws of 2003
Currently, counties are required to prepare bound volumes of their proceedings at the end of each year. This
legislation permits recordings to be made and transmitted electronically, provided that paper copies continue
to be available upon request.
Flexibility in Municipal Financings
A.5256 and A.5258 (Sweeney)/Chapters 137 and
83 of the Laws of 2003
Certain provisions of municipal financing – statutory installment bonds, variable rate bonds - were set to expire
this year. This legislation extended that authorization for an additional three years.
Constitutional Challenges to Local Laws
A.6489-A (Gunther)/Chapter 296 of the Laws of 2003
Localities are not currently required to be informed of constitutional challenges to local laws. As a result, the local
government may be unaware of a challenge and miss an opportunity to appear and defend the validity of its
local law. This legislation would require municipalities to be notified and provided with the opportunity to appear in
proceedings challenging the constitutionality of local laws.
Affordable Housing Incentive
The Nassau Suffolk Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, as defined by the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development, has been ranked the seventh least affordable area in the nation for
middle-income housing, according to a Washington D.C.-based affordable housing organization. More than
25 percent of households on Long Island pay over 35 percent of their gross monthly income on their rent or
mortgage — in many cases the ratio of gross rent to income is over 50 percent. This legislation would establish
the Long Island Workforce Housing Incentive Program. Local governments on Long Island that approve the
construction of five or more residential housing units in one site plan would be required to set aside ten percent of the
homes for affordable housing. In exchange, the developer would become eligible to receive density bonuses and other
incentives. This legislation passed the Assembly, but the Senate has not yet taken action.