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Real Estate Tax and Assessments — New York

New information added on November 1, 2010

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Updates and News Briefs

"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)

See Also
See Also

Real Estate Tax and Assessments - National

Assessment Privacy - New York


New York State Legislation
(Senate and Assembly)

On the left, click on "bill search and legislative information."

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 the bill.


In-Depth Information

  • Peter J. LaGrasse"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 Adirondacks.
  • Carol W. LaGrasse"Senate 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 15, 2009
    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 the lake.

    Hike to Lake Lila Photo Gallery
  • "DEC 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.
  • "Governor's 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 future.
  • "Governor's 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 be upheld.
  • John Salvador, Jr."Removal 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.
  • "Local 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."
  • "Dillenburg 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.
  • "A 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.
  • "You're 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.
  • "Supreme 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 estate taxes.
  • "New 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.
  • "Brief 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.
  • "Allodial Title—An 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.
  • Robert Prentiss"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.
  • "Property 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.
  • "Senators Betty Little & John Bonacic Stand Firm" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (Reprinted from N.Y. Property Rights Clearinghouse, Summer 2003)
    The Nature Conservancy, other non-profits attack New York State Senators' real estate tax reform bills. Washington Post article exposes Conservancy corruption.
  • "Statement in Support of Legislation to Reform Laws Governing Tax Exempt Properties" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, March 13, 2003)
    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."
  • "Legislation 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.
  • "Tax 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.

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