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Uniform assessment standards

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Early in 2009, the New York State Board of Real Property Services (The State Board) directed the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) to collaborate with assessors and county property tax directors to develop a set of principles to guide assessment administration by individual assessing units. The Real Property Tax Administration Committee (RPTAC) which is made up of representatives of the New York State Assessors Association and the New York State Association of Directors of Real Property Tax Services, as well as ORPS staff, provided the ideal medium for the ensuing discussions and debate. The result was consensus on a recommendation to the State Board of appropriate Uniform Assessment Standards.

The State Board adopted the following Uniform assessment standards on February 9, 2010. In August of 2010, legislation passed as part of the budget process:

  • merged the Office of Real Property Services with the Department of Taxation and Finance,
  • added "Tax" to the Agency moniker, and
  • relieved the State Board of any policy or oversight authority.

The adoption of the Uniform assessment standards was the last policy action taken by the State Board of Real Property Services.

The intent of the Uniform assessment standards is to provide a general blueprint for local government assessing units to establish "equitable" and "transparent" assessments. "Equitable" means that all properties are uniformly assessed at full market value. "Transparent" means that the system is easy to understand by all taxpayers, and that all relevant information is readily available to the public.

The standards are advisory in nature. The only requirements are those contained in State statute, board regulation or rule, and agency procedure or practice. All assessing units are encouraged to look to these standards for direction to assessing staff, elected officials, taxpayers and the general public. In addition, local governments—assessing unit or otherwise—are encouraged to refer to these standards when formulating policy.

The Uniform assessment standards is a work in progress, and it is expected that it will evolve over time. Amendments to the document will be approved by the entire membership of RPTAC.

I. Valuation standards

II. Procedural standards