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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 58

Opinions of Counsel index

Assessor (powers and duties) (Westchester County) - Westchester County Administrative Code, Article 16, § 557

In Westchester County, an assessment may be apportioned when property has been assessed with property of another person, or where another person has become an owner of a portion of the property since the making of the current roll. However, the town assessor must petition the town board to make such apportionment.

We have received an inquiry requesting our opinion as to whether town assessors in Westchester County must petition the town board when apportioning an assessment with no overall change in the total assessed value.

Article 16 of the Westchester County Administrative Code, known as the Westchester County Tax Law, provides for the assessment of property and the collection of taxes and assessments in the several towns of Westchester County. Section 557 of that article provides for the correction of errors in assessment rolls by town boards upon the verified petition of town assessors. The type of errors that may be corrected are enumerated within the several subdivisions of section 557. The fifth subdivision of section 557 provides as follows:

“§ 557. Correction of errors in assessment rolls by town boards.

“If it shall be made to appear to the town board of any town upon the verified petition of a majority of the assessors of said town:

* * *

“Fifth. That any taxable property therein has been assessed in any assessment roll or any separate tax district column thereof including the current roll with property of another, or another person, or persons, have become owners of a part or parts of such property since the making of the current roll, such board may cause the assessed valuation and the amount of tax or assessment thereon to be apportioned accordingly.”

Pursuant to the provisions of the above quoted subdivision an assessment may be apportioned when property has been assessed with property of another person or where another person has become an owner of a portion of the property since the making of the current roll. However, section 557 requires town assessors to petition the town board to make such apportionment. When an assessment is so apportioned, no change will be made in the total assessed value and the receiver of taxes is authorized to receive the proportionate amount of the tax on each part of the real property so apportioned.

It should be noted that the assessment roll prepared by assessors annually is independent of any previous assessment roll. In assessing real property on a new assessment roll assessors are not bound by an apportionment that may have been made in a preceding year. If a parcel of real property is split or subdivided prior to the preparation of the next assessment roll, or if a change is to be made in the dimensions of a parcel on the new assessment roll, such change may be made without petitioning the town board.

October 18, 1972

NOTE:  Construes law prior to L.1974, c.177.

Updated: