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Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 95

Opinions of Counsel index

Separate assessment (land and buildings) - Real Property Tax Law, § 502:

Where land and buildings are separately owned, an assessor may assess the buildings in the name of the landowner.

Our opinion has been requested as to the procedure for assessing buildings placed on leased land and owned by persons other than the landowner.

Presently these buildings are assessed separate from the land and we have been asked whether there is authority to assess them with the land.

This precise question has been resolved by case law. In Doughty v. Loomis, 9 App.Div.2d 574, 189 N.Y.S.2d 413, aff’d w/o, 8 N.Y.2d 722, 167 N.E.2d 643, 201 N.Y.S.2d 100, the court held that the assessors could not be compelled to assess land separately to the landowners and a building separately to the building owner even though each had agreed to pay the taxes on the property interest of each.

Therefore, there is full authority to assess the buildings in the assessment of the parcels of land on which they are located in the name of the landowner.

February 16, 1972