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Funds to be used for code enforcement.

Funds raised from the fire insurance fee would be used solely for state aid to municipalities for the enforcement of the uniform fire prevention and building code under legislation sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R-C-I-Oneonta), Chair of the Insurance Committee and Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (D-Monroe). Beginning on April 1, 2009 not less than one-half of the moneys from the 1.25 percent fee on commercial fire insurance premiums would be provided to municipalities for code enforcement purposes, and beginning on April 1, 2010, 100 percent of the fee would be provided to the municipalities. The amount received by municipalities for code enforcement purposes would be determined pursuant to section 54-g of the state finance law. The bill has passed the Senate and been sent to the Assembly.

"Until 1992, fire insurance fee money had been traditionally used to reimburse local governments for code enforcement expenses," Seward said. "In 1992, these funds were diverted to the general fund and state assistance for local code enforcement activities were eliminated. This elimination of funding has dealt a devastating blow to local code enforcement efforts and many programs across the state have been dismantled, putting the residents of New York State at risk."

"This bill would provide a two year phase in for the restoration of these funds for code enforcement activities of local governments," Morelle said. "Commencing April 1, 2010 and thereafter, all funds raised from the fire insurance fee would be used solely for aiding municipalities in funding code enforcement activities. By providing a two year phase in, this bill will minimize the impact on the general fund of returning this money to the localities."

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Publication:Insurance Advocate
Date:Jun 30, 2008
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