"U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Proposes 13,000
acres for Oneida Indian Nation"
- News Brief, PRFA, Spring 2008
"New York State is Distributing Grants to Study
the Centralization of Tax Assessment"
- News Brief, PRFA, November 2007
"Suffolk County Homeowner Commits Suicide After
Being Evicted for Tax Default"
- Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol.
8, No. 4 (PRFA, Fall 2004)
New York State Legislation
(Senate and Assembly)
On the left, click on "bill search and legislative
When the search appears, type in either Senate or Assembly bill
numbers, prefixing the number with either an S or an A.
A summary appears next.
Click on "See Bill Text."
The full bill text will appear. The memo, if any, will follow
- "Tax Base in the Adirondack
Park" - by Peter J. LaGrasse, B.S., B.A., Chairman,
Board of Assessors, Town of Stony Creek, N.Y (Speech presented
at the Fourteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property
Rights, Lake George, N.Y., October 23, 2010).
An examination of real property tax trends and local town
revenue streams from many sources reveals the extent to which
the tax base is volatile, subject to changes in economic activity,
or state or federal policies. Dating to policies traced back
to 1885, the state-owned-land portion of the tax base, which
amounts to 50.15% of Stony Creek's tax base, is vulnerable
to political decisions, which could ultimately precipitate the
full implementation of the Biosphere Reserve and depopulate the
Committee Issues Report on Property Tax Exemptions"
- Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse,
Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter 2010, Property Rights Foundation of America
The Senate staff issued a report in December 2009 to the New
York State Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform on the needs
for and costs of the state's property tax exemptions.
During the discussion at the Select Committee roundtable meeting
in October, Carol LaGrasse, President of the Property Rights
Foundation of America and a member of the Select Committee, advocated
a "proportionality method " to apply
nonprofit tax exemptions.
- "The Fraud
and Double Standard" - By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, August
The APA was just defeated as it tried to exert illegal jurisdiction
over farm worker housing. The wealthy forces from New York City
use an environmental façade to victimize local people.
A double standard allowed APA Chairman Curt Stiles to unlock
a gate to drive through designated "wilderness"
to camp at Lake Lila, but ordinary people have to hike to see
Should Control Its Beavers" - By Carol W. LaGrasse,
PRFA, May 31, 2009
A beaver dam burst in Warren County, New York, releasing a
barrage of water that washed out forty feet of the Upper Hudson
Railroad tracks in Riparius. Taxpayers are upset at facing still
another delay and expense related to the exorbitant railroad
restoration project. But the Department of Conservation, which
owns the beavers, should pay for the repair.
Tax Cap Threatens 125-Year-Old Covenant to Pay Local Taxes"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America,
Inc., February 12, 2009
When the New York State Legislature established the Adirondack
Forest Preserve, the Legislature followed the recommendations
of the official commission, which concluded that because the
protection of the forest "would be chiefly for the
benefit of the rest of the State," the State should
"hereafter bear taxes upon its lands in the Adirondack
region." It may take 125 years, but with control
of much of the land, preservationists control the tax base and
Proposed State Tax Cap Would Be A Tax Outrage" - By
Carol W. LaGrasse, Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
Reduced size version (pdf) of advertisement that appeared in
the Adirondack Journal, January 31, 2009
A cap on the State payment of property taxes to localities
within the 6,000,000-acre Adirondack region would gradually cause
a damaging and destructive shift of the tax burden to the already
restricted and weak local economies. Fair play demands that the
Legislature's long-established doctrine to pay local taxes
of Public Official from Office" - By John Salvador,
Jr., Citizen Resident & Property Owner, Lake George, N.Y.,
Brief Presentation at Select Citizen's Panel, Twelfth Annual
National Conference on Private Property Rights (PRFA, Albany,
N.Y., October 18, 2008)
Mr. Salvador explained and shared copies of his petition to
the Supreme Court Appellate Division for removal of public officer
(tax assessor) in accordance with Section 36 of the New York
State Public Officers Law.
Assessors Fight State Pressure to "Consolidate'"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, April 2008.
The executive and legislative branches of state government
are applying pressure to eliminate local elected assessors, as
a first step toward wiping out the office of town assessors and
absorbing it into each county Office of Real Property Tax Services.
Local elected assessors around New York State have gotten the
picture and are up in arms. Other offices of local government
are also threatened by recommendations of the Commission on Local
Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, established by former
Gov. Eliot Spitzer, with a very receptive legislature.
- "Taxes on State
Lands," excerpt from Report of the Comptroller to the
New York State Legislature, 1885 Assembly Document #36, (January
23, 1885, pp. 21- 24)
This excerpt, entitled "Taxes on State Lands,"
from the Report of Comptroller Alfred C. Chapin to the Legislature
is the result of the work of a commission appointed pursuant
ty the Legislature in 1884 to "investigate and report
a system of forest preservation" related to the "forests
covering the Adirondack Plateau and the relations which these
forests bear to the commercial and industrial interests of the
State." The recommendations of the commission, known
as the Sargent Commission, were of paramount influence in establishing
the state's Forest Preserve policies, including that for
State payment of taxes on the Forest Preserve lands. The commission's
principle concern was the effect of forest devastation on "the
water-sheds of the principal streams of the State."
v. State of New York, Threat to Adirondack Tax Base"
- By Peter LaGrasse, Chairman, Board of Assessors, Town of Stony
Creek (March 3, 2008)
This paper shows the results of Peter LaGrasse's research
into the history and law involving the case Dillenburg v.
State of New York. The historical documents demonstrate the
motivation of the framers of the 1886 legislation providing for
the state payments of taxes on the Forest Preserve land on the
basis of statewide benefit. However, LaGrasse expresses concern
with the State Supreme Court Chautauqua County (which is under
appeal) decision because this court precisely followed a State
Court of Appeals case.
Sound, Consistent Policy" - "Worth Commenting"
By Carol W. LaGrasse, PRFA, January 2008
Since 1886, the State has paid real estate taxes on its Adirondack
Forest Preserve, now amounting to three million acres contained
within the six million-acre "Blue Line"
of government and private land in northern New York, because
the State-owned lands provide a statewide benefit of, first,
watershed protection, and, additionally, more recently, environmental
preservation envisioned by statewide residents. The economic
sacrifice of the 100-plus towns and villages in the Adirondacks
has been recognized for over a century, as well. Legal action
to end these tax payments, in Dillenburg vs. State of New
York, is not justified.
Asking for It" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 2007)
Local government's disdain for the public, the obstruction
of development by local officials, and the willingness of local
government to sign away the right of the people to govern locally,
while officials assume more power and receive more money, make
local government vulnerable to consolidation and regional restructuring.
Court Denies Tax Exemption on Oneidas' Reacquired Homelands"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, July 2005)
In the case City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of
New York, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on March 29, 2005,
that the Oneida Indians will have to abide by the laws of New
York State and local government within its reacquired ancestral
lands, because it waited too long to repurchase the lands and
assert sovereignty over them. The Oneidas will have to pay real
York is First - In Taxes" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA,
April 30, 2004
New York State again has the highest taxes of any state. High
taxes and hostile regulations have been driving businesses and
residents out of New York for years. Real estate taxes are now
critical because of the State's custom of passing down
half the cost of Medicaid to localities and property owners.
Comments on Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (Abbreviated
Transcript)" - By Peter J. LaGrasse, Chairman, Stony
Creek Board of Assessors (PRFA, December 9, 2003)
Corridor proponents are concealing the extreme limitation
in the protection from liability for owners where trails are
located. The Heritage Corridor is a plan for a total change in
cultural orientation. Local people will not be able to afford
the taxes. If this scheme succeeds, there indigenous population
will not be able to continue to live in the area.
TitleAn E-mail Exchange" - by Carol W. LaGrasse
(PRFA, November 18, 2003)
A straightforward response to an urgent inquiry from a web
site visitor imagining that he can protect his property by filing
an allodial deed. People are told that they can avoid building
restrictions and real estate taxes.
- "State must help out on Medicaid"
- Robert Prentiss, Member of the New York State Assembly (Op
Ed originally printed in Spotlight, October 15, 2003)
Counties can no longer fund the soaring cost of Medicaid on
their real property tax base. The state should take over local
Medicaid costs within five years, no new unfunded Medicaid mandates
should be allowed, and a Medicaid fraud bounty should be created.
Tax Reduction Proposal A Western New Yorker's Approach"
- By Stephen N. Hunt (July 4, 2003)
Property tax changes are needed to stem the area's
population loss and general economic stagnation. As opposed to
tax support for specific industries, general relief for all property
owners who do improvements to existing properties would deal
with the aging commercial and residential real estate in poor
condition, while feeding an engine for business growth.
Betty Little & John Bonacic Stand Firm" - By Carol W. LaGrasse
(Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer
The Nature Conservancy, other non-profits attack New York
State Senators' real estate tax reform bills. Washington
Post article exposes Conservancy corruption.
in Support of Legislation to Reform Laws Governing Tax Exempt
Properties" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 13,
Statement at Public Hearing of the N.Y. State Senate Committee
on Local Government and Committee on Housing, Construction, and
Community Development, at Lake Placid, N.Y. Discusses the tax
shift to ordinary property owners caused by the exemption of
non-profit organizations with often large land holdings
- Testimony of
Bernard R. Miller, Director of the Essex County Real Property
Tax Services Agency, at a Public Hearing of the Senate Committee
on Local Government and the Senate Committee on Housing Construction
& Community Development held in Lake Placid, New York on
March 13, 2003.
In addition to supporting the Bonacic/Little tax reform proposals,
Barry Miller urges further strengthening of home rule to give
more local control over non-profit exemptions. He advocates that
"land trusts should be added to the permissive class"
and "intended property use by land trusts should
be consistent with local land use plans."
Would Tighten Laws Allowing Tax Exempt Properties"
By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, February 25, 2003)
Proposed reforms would reduce the current shift of the real
estate tax burden to homeowners from tax-exempt organizations.
Senators Bonacic and Little introduced legislation early this
year to tighten standards for qualifying charities, to require
clear and convincing proof that the property is being used for
the charitable purpose, and to give localities the option of
whether to grant exemptions for certain charities that are now
entitled to the exemptions.
Base Eroded by Shifting Court Sentiment"
- By Carol W. LaGrasse (Originally printed in the August 17,
1992 Capital District Business Review, Albany, N.Y.)
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Lucas case is
a bellwether indicator of the direction that land use regulations
and environmental controls affecting property are taking. That
direction will be to dig deep into the public pocketbook to pay
for the cost of the controls to individual owners.