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Volume 5 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 44

Opinions of Counsel index

Taxes (enforcement) (village taxes - by county) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 1150, 1152:

Where a county and a village within such county agree that the county will enforce tax liens held by both, the village is benefited by promptly receiving the amount of its lien from the county, and the county is benefited by being entitled to retain the entire proceeds upon a sale of the property after it acquires title thereto. Similar benefits will result from the adoption of county enforcement of delinquent village taxes in Broome County as authorized by chapter 508 of the Laws of 1975.

We have been requested to outline the advantages and disadvantages of an agreement between a county and a village within such county whereby the county would foreclose tax liens held by the county and the village. Such an agreement is authorized by section 1150 of the Real Property Tax Law.

The provisions of section 1150 apply only to tax districts which have adopted either Title 2 or Title 3, or both, of Article 11 of such law (9 Op.State Compt. 386). If both the county and the village have adopted the alternative procedures, an agreement could be entered into whereby either would foreclose tax liens held by both and the proceeds could be divided between them in the manner provided in the agreement. If, for example, only the county has adopted the alternative procedures, it would be authorized by section 1152 to purchase the other’s tax lien and thereafter foreclose such liens pursuant to Article 11 (4 Op.State Compt. 174). The immediate disadvantage to the county and advantage to the village in utilizing section 1152 is that the county would have to pay and the village would receive the amount of the village lien. The long-range possible advantage to the county and disadvantage to the village would be that the county would retain the entire proceeds upon a sale of the property after it acquires title thereto.

It should be noted that chapter 508 of the Laws of 1975 enacted an unconsolidated law enabling Broome County and and the villages therein to enact local legislation to provide for the collection of delinquent village taxes by the county much in the same manner as delinquent school taxes are enforced by the county pursuant to Article 13 of the Real Property Tax Law. That is, delinquent village taxes would be returned to the county on or before November 15; the county would pay to the village the amount of such delinquent taxes on or before the next succeeding April 1; and the county would thereafter enforce the delinquent village taxes. The advantages or disadvantages of such an arrangement would be the same as those pointed out above in the situation where the county voluntarily purchases the village lien pursuant to section 1152.

November 21, 1975

Updated: