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Volume 8 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 80

Opinions of Counsel index

Real property, definition of (telecommunications equipment) (station apparatus) - Real Property Tax Law, § 102(12)(d), (i):

Telecommunications equipment which is categorized under the New York State Public Service Commission’s Uniform System of Accounts as station apparatus is personal property for purposes of the RPTL.

Coin collectors are station apparatus and, therefore, personal property.

We have been asked whether “coin collectors” are real property for purposes of taxation.

Through a series of amendments to the Real Property Tax Law [RPTL] enacted during its 1985 Session, the New York State Legislature substantially revised the definition of real property with respect to equipment of the telecommunications industry (chapters 71, 72 and 463 of the Laws of 1985) {*}. Certain types of equipment have been specifically excluded from that definition including “station apparatus”, “station connections” and “private branch exchanges” (RPTL, §102(12)(d) and (i); 8 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 43).

These categories or classes of equipment are terms of art which derive their meaning from the Uniform System of Accounts prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and adopted by the State Public Service Commission (PSC) (16 NYCRR 663.1, accounts 221, 231 and 232; see, 5 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 10). “Coin collectors” are included in a list of items found under the PSC Account 231 “Station Apparatus”. Accordingly, since all station apparatus is personal property for purposes of the RPTL, coin collectors are not real property for purposes of assessment rolls.

October 21, 1985


{*}  Note: The provisions of chapter 71, 72 and 463 of the Laws of 1985 are due to expire on December 31, 1986 (L.1985, c.71, §13; c.72, §3; and c.463, §9). In the absence of legislation extending or reenacting the exclusion of station apparatus from the definition of real property, this Opinion will be moot.

Updated: