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Volume 7 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 94

Opinions of Counsel index

Sales reporting (public inspection and copying) - Real Property Tax Law, § 574; 9 NYCRR 191.5:

A request made to inspect real property transfer reports (EA-5217) received during a specific period of time is sufficient specification to satisfy State Board rules.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether a person who seeks to inspect or copy real property transfer report forms (EA-5217) must identify each and every form desired, or whether a request may simply be made to inspect or copy all transfer reports received in a specified time period.

Section 574(5) of the Real Property Tax Law provides that “Forms or reports filed pursuant to this section or section three hundred thirty-three of the real property law shall not be made available for public inspection or copying except for purposes of administrative or judicial review of assessments in accordance with rules promulgated by the state board.” The State Board’s rules governing inspection and copying of real property transfer report forms are set forth in 9 NYCRR 191.5 and basically track the language of the statute. The rules provide that real property transfer report forms shall be made available for inspection or copying only after the individual seeking to inspect has completed and signed a form prescribed by the State Board (Form EA-5217-DCL) containing the following information: (1) the name of the person seeking to inspect; (2) specific reference to the transfer report form(s) sought to be inspected or copied; (3) a statement certifying that the inspection is sought for purposes of administrative or judicial review of assessments; and (4) the administrative or judicial entity before which the assessment is to be reviewed.

With respect to the second item (identifying the forms sought to be inspected or copied), it is our opinion that a request to inspect all real property transfer reports received during a specific period of time is sufficient specification to satisfy the requirements of section 191.5.

July 28, 1981

NOTE:  This Opinion construes law prior to L.1993, c.257.

Updated: