AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE HOMEOWNERS’ RESIDENTIAL TAX EXEMPTION IN THE CITY OF BOSTON
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding section 5C of chapter 59 of the General Laws and clause Fifty-fifth of section 5 of said chapter 59 or any other general or special law to the contrary, the city of Boston may promulgate rules or regulations to provide for a residential tax exemption for cooperative housing residents to be known as the cooperative housing equitable tax exemption, which shall make available to qualifying cooperative housing corporation residential unit owners an exemption of 30 per cent of the average value of the cooperative corporation’s residential units.
SECTION 2. As used in this act, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following words shall have the following meanings:-
“Cooperative corporation” , a cooperative corporation as defined in section 4 of chapter 157B of the General Laws.
“ Member”, a member as defined in said section 4 of said chapter 157B .
SECTION 3. The exemption granted under this act shall be the amount calculated pursuant to section 5. The assessors shall apply the amount of the exemption to the actual amount assessed to the cooperative corporation. The number of units to be considered shall be the number of units whose owner s have met all requirements in section 4. It shall be the obligation of the cooperative corporation’s management, representative or board of trustees to distribute the exemption among its qualifying cooperative corporation members in proportion to each member’s number of shares as identified in the stock certificate.
SECTION 4. To be eligible for the exemption, the cooperative corporation’s management, representative or board of trustees shall provide the assessing department, on or before October 31 of the year in which the exemption is requested, the following information and documentation: (i) for each cooperative corporation which wishes to receive an exemption on behalf of its members, proof of all eligible members’ status on January 1 of the preceding fiscal year, including, but not limited to, corporate filings under chapter 157B of the General Laws with the state secretary, a statement of shares owned by each member and the date of share acquisition, a statement of share unit representation, and a proprietary lease bearing the names of the co operative corporation and the member; (ii) proof that the member occupied the cooperative corporation unit on January 1 of the preceding fiscal year as a primary residence for income tax purposes. The city of Boston may request additional information as it deems necessary.
An exemption application shall be filed with the board of assessors by the cooperative corporation’s management, representative or board of trustees. The application and accompanying proof shall be filed annually. The exemption shall be granted only if the requirements of this section are met. All proof requested by the board of assessors shall be received by the board of assessors on or before October 31 of the fiscal year in which the exemption is sought.
SECTION 5. The amount of the residential exemption granted under this act shall be based on the average residential value of units of the cooperative corporation applying for this exemption.
The amount of the exemption may equal, but shall not exceed, the residential exemption amount given to homeowners under the first paragraph of section 5C of chapter 59 of the General Laws.
The exemption provided for in this act shall not apply to commercial cooperative corporation units or any residential cooperative corporation units leased to a third party under any form of lease agreement.
SECTION 6. A cooperative corporation upon which a tax has been assessed, if aggrieved by such tax, may, on or before the thirtieth day after the date on which the bill or notice of such tax was sent, petition in writing to the board of assessors, on a form approved by the commissioner of revenue, for an abatement thereof. If the board finds that the cooperative corporation was taxed at more than its just proportion under this act, it shall make an abatement in accordance with this act . No individual cooperative corporation member shall have standing to apply for an exemption for his unit, nor shall an individual member have standing to petition for abatement under this section. A cooperative corporation that is aggrieved by the denial of the exemption provided for in this act may file a notice of appeal with the appellate tax board within 60 days of notice of the assessors’ refusal to grant the exemption.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved June 20 , 2008