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Assessor's Report Instructions for Cities and Towns - Definition of Terms

Assessor's Report Instructions for Cities and Towns

Reporting Operations Section

Approved Assessing Unit: means an assessing unit certified by the commissioner as having completed a revaluation which is in conformance with the commissioner's rules and regulations or an update.

Assessing Unit: means a city, a town, a county having a county department of assessment with the power to assess real property, or a village unless the village enacted a local law to terminate its assessing unit status as provided in subdivision 3 of section 1402 of the RPTL or unless the village is coterminous with the territory of a town and is subject to the provisions of section 17-1722-a of the Village Law.

Assessor's Report: means the report prescribed pursuant to 20 NYCRR 8193-4.

Ceiling: is the maximum taxable assessed value allowed by law for certain types of property.

Ceiling Railroads: are railroad companies subject to the provisions of Article 4, Titles 2A and 2B of the RPTL. ORPTS establishes the ceiling assessment for the transportation property of such companies. Ceiling railroad transportation properties are coded in Roll Section 7 as the three-digit Property Classification Code "842".

Change in Level of Assessment Factor: this factor represents the percentage change in assessed value of property that exists on both the prior assessment roll and the current assessment roll. This factor is used in the calculation of special equalization rates by multiplying the final State equalization rate for the prior roll by the change in level of assessment factor for the current roll. The factor is computed as follows:

1+((equalization increases - equalization decreases)/(prior av - quantity decreases))

County Owned Reforested Lands: are lands acquired by the county and forever devoted to the purposes of reforestation. Such lands are exempt from county taxes, but are taxable for all other purposes (Section 219, County Law). County owned reforested lands are coded in the three-digit Property Classification Code as "942" and in the five-digit Property Tax Exemption Code as "33302".

Current Roll: is the assessment roll completed, verified, and filed in the year for which this report is being completed.

Equalization Change: is an increase or decrease in the total assessed value of real property existing on both the prior roll and current roll for which there has been neither a physical nor quantity change nor a change in wholly exempt status. For examples of equalization changes see the chart in Section 2.41 Item N.

Exempt Assessed Value: means the part of the assessed value of a parcel exempt from taxation.

Exempt Parcel: means a parcel which receives an exemption from taxation in whole or in part.

Fisher Act Properties: are parcels subject to section 480, RPTL, which provides for a ceiling assessed value for eligible tracts of forest and reforested lands. No additional lands may be certified under this section after September 1, 1974. Fisher Act Properties are coded in the three-digit Property Classification Code as "911".

Homestead Assessing Unit: means an approved assessing unit which adopts the homestead provisions of section 1903 of the RPTL.

Homestead Class: means all separately assessed real property parcels or parts thereof used as one-, two-, or three-family residential dwellings, including so much of the abutting land as is reasonably necessary for residential purposes, together with structures situated thereon and used in conjunction therewith, including such dwellings as used in part for nonresidential purposes but which are used primarily for residential purposes, and also including owner-occupied and separately assessed mobile homes and homestead condominiums. Also included within this class are parts of parcels primarily used for farming purposes, on which parts farm dwellings and improvements exclusively used for residential purposes are situated, including so much of the abutting land as is reasonably necessary for residential purposes, and which, if separately assessed, would be included within this class. Also included within this class are all vacant land parcels, not exceeding 10 acres, which are located in an assessing unit which has a zoning law or ordinance in effect, provided that such parcels are located in a zone that does not allow a residential use other than for one, two or three-family dwelling residential real property. Also included in this class is all land used in agricultural production which is eligible for an agricultural assessment pursuant to section 305 and 306 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, if the owner has filed an annual application for an agricultural assessment and all farm buildings and structures as defined in Real Property Tax Law, section 483(3), located on such land used in agriculture production.

Initial Assessment: means the assessed value of an individual parcel before any adjustment for the transition assessment provisions of Article 18 or 19 of the RPTL and before the subtraction of any exempt assessed value.

Locally Assessed Property: means real property for which the assessed value is determined by the assessor and entered on the "taxable" section or the "utility" section of the assessment roll (see definition of "Roll Sections"). It excludes transportation properties of ceiling railroads, special franchise, taxable State land, and wholly exempt properties.

Material Change in Level of Assessment: this is an increase or decrease in the change in level of assessment of 2 percent or more. If an assessor expects a material change in level of assessment between the prior and current assessment rolls, they must file a notice of anticipated material change in level of assessment (form RP-6110) with Equalization Support Services. This form must be filed no later than thirty days prior to final roll date. Most cities and towns must file the form by June 1. This allows staff to notify school districts, county officials and the units within the agency that deal with special franchise values, ceiling railroad values and taxable State land that we will be establishing special rates for the municipality.

Municipal Corporation: means a county, city, town, village, or school district.

New Construction: refers to additions or improvements to existing structures; completed or partial construction; new or additional equipment of utilities such as poles and wires; and the addition of a mobile home.

New Property: refers to land and any improvements thereon annexed from another municipality; parcels and/or improvements omitted from the prior roll; and any land area discovered during tax mapping where the property is larger than previously recorded.

Nonhomestead Class: means all real property not included in the homestead class.

Nonresidential Property: means locally assessed properties which are not residential property.

Omitted Improvement: is an improvement present on the real property before the prior roll's taxable status date, but not included in the prior roll's total assessed value for that parcel.

ORPTS: means the Office of Real Property Tax Services.

Ownership Code: means a one-digit letter established by ORPTS to designate the type of ownership of a given parcel. These codes are described in the booklet "Property Type Classification and Ownership Codes" issued by ORPTS.

Parcel: means a separately assessed lot or piece of real property.

Parcel Identification: means a unique number assigned by an assessor to identify a parcel on the assessment roll.

Partial Exemption: is a statutory reduction in the total taxable assessed value of a parcel for a specified taxing purpose. Partial exemptions are generally limited by time, amount, or taxing purpose. Parcels with a partial exemption are entered on the "taxable" sections of the roll with the exempt assessed value shown in a separate column.

Portion: means a part of an assessing unit included within: the boundaries of a school district which levies taxes on the assessment roll of such assessing unit; a town excluding all villages therein; and that part of an assessing unit which is a special district which encompasses the entire assessing unit with the exception of one or more entire villages. In the case of a county assessing unit, it shall mean the part of such assessing unit located within the boundaries of a city, town, village, or school district.

Prior Roll: is the assessment roll completed, verified, and filed in the year before the current roll, revised for all corrections of errors and small claims court adjustments but not for other court-ordered reductions to date.

Property Classification Code: means a three-digit number established by ORPTS for classifying property by type and assigned to individual parcels by the assessor. These codes are described in the booklet "Property Type Classification and Ownership Codes" issued by ORPTS. They are also included in Appendix B of Volume 6 of the Assessor's Manual.

Property Tax Exemption Code: means a five-digit number established by ORPTS for identifying each type of exemption on a parcel and assigned to each exempt assessed value by the assessor. These codes are issued by ORPTS and are included in Volume 4 of the Assessor's Manual.

Quantity Adjustment Factor: this factor represents the percentage change in quantity of property between the prior assessment roll and the current assessment roll. A factor of 1.0250 would represent a 2.5 percent increase in the quantity of property between the prior assessment roll and the current assessment roll. The factor is used in the calculation of the State equalization rate to adjust the measured roll market value for the change in quantity of property between the measured roll and the current roll. The factor is computed as follows:

(1 + (quantity increases / (current av - quantity increases))) * (1- (quantity decreases/prior av))

Quantity Change: means either an increase in assessed value from the prior roll to the current roll resulting from: new construction, property annexed from another assessing unit, property omitted from the prior roll, property discovered during tax mapping, and property which has been assigned to roll section 1, 3 or 6; or a decrease in assessed value from the prior roll to the current roll resulting from: fire, demolition, loss of parcels from the roll due to tax mapping, removal of mobile homes, removal of duplicate parcels from the roll, and property which is no longer assigned to roll section 1, 3 or 6. It is not the result of the splitting or merging of parcels. Increases or decreases in assessments of oil and gas rights assessed pursuant to RPTL, Article 5, Title 5, which are a result of increased or decreased production, respectively, as defined in 20 NYCRR 8196 shall be treated as increases resulting from new construction or decreases resulting from demolitions, respectively. For examples of quantity changes see the chart in Section 2.41 Item N.

Real Property Class: means a class of property as defined in Section 8185.

Residential Property: means all locally assessed properties in real property class one for special assessing units excluding parcels with an assessment limitation and parcels held in a cooperative or a condominium form of ownership, and, for all other assessing units, all locally assessed properties with a property classification code beginning with a "2" other than property held in a cooperative or a condominium form of ownership.

Roll Section: means the designation for parts of the assessment roll described in the Rules for Real Property Tax Administration governing the form and preparation of assessment rolls (20 NYCRR 8190).

  • Roll Section 1 - Taxable ("ordinary")
  • Roll Section 3 - Taxable State Land
  • Roll Section 5 - Special Franchise
  • Roll Section 6 - Utility Property
  • Roll Section 7 - Ceiling Railroad Property
  • Roll Section 8 - Wholly Exempt Property

RPS: means the New York State Real Property System

RPTL: means the Real Property Tax Law.

School District Code: is a number established by ORPTS which identifies each school district. This code can be obtained from the County Director of Real Property Tax Services or ORPTS at a regional office in your area.

Small Claims Court: means a court established pursuant to Title 1-A of Article 7 of the RPTL.

Special Assessing Unit: means New York City or Nassau County.

Special Franchise: Property situated in, under, above, upon or through any public street, highway, water, or other public place. Section 102, subdivision 17, RPTL, defines special franchise in detail.

Split/Merge Number: is a unique number used to identify parcels that have been split (including subdivisions) or merged since the prior roll. All parcels involved in the same split or merger are coded with the same number.

State Approved Assessments: are the assessments and ceilings approved by ORPTS - special franchises (Roll Section 5) and transportation property of ceiling railroads (Roll Section 7).

SWIS Code (Statewide Information System Code): means a numbering system established by ORPTS to identify uniquely each county, city, town, village, and that portion of a town outside of incorporated villages.

Taxable Assessed Value: is the assessed value of real property for a specified tax purpose AFTER the subtraction of any exempt assessed value and upon which the tax is levied for the given tax purpose.

Taxable State Land: means State land which is subject to taxation pursuant to section 532 or 534 of the RPTL and land acquired by a River Regulating District which is subject to taxation pursuant to section 15-2115 of the Environmental Conservation Law; provided, that aggregate additional assessments for Adirondack Park parcels established pursuant to section 542(3) of RPTL, aggregate additional assessments for River Regulating District parcels established pursuant to section 15-2115 of the Environmental Conservation Law, and State land which is exempt from taxation but for which a transition assessment has been established pursuant to section 545 of the RPTL is not taxable State land.

Taxes or Taxation: is a charge imposed upon real property by or on behalf of a county, city, town, village, or school district for municipal or school district purposes. This does not include a "special ad valorem levy" or "special assessment" as those terms are defined in subdivisions (14) and (15) of section 102 of the RPTL, respectively.

Total Assessed Value: is the assessed value of real property BEFORE the subtraction of any exempt assessed value. This does not include the assessed values of properties which are included in the "wholly exempt" roll section (Roll Section 8), the assessed value of parcels for which payments are made in lieu of taxes or assessments for purposes of penalty or rollback tax collection.

Wholly Exempt Properties: are parcels exempt from all taxes. This category includes certain religious, educational, or charitable properties or certain properties owned by the federal government, state government, or municipal corporations within their own boundaries. WHOLLY EXEMPT properties are entered on the "wholly exempt" roll section (Roll Section 8).

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