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Volume 3 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 35

Opinions of Counsel index

Tax maps - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 502(2), 1534(4); 9 NYCRR 185.16(b):

Tax maps prepared for towns and furnished to town assessors by the county real property tax service agency should be current through taxable status date.

We have received an inquiry requesting an interpretation of subdivision 4 of section 1534 of the Real Property Tax Law relating to furnishing tax maps to towns.

Subdivision 4 of section 1534 provides, in part:

4. Filing. The originals of tax maps approved under this article shall be filed in the office of the county director of real property tax services and shall be maintained by such director to reflect current conditions. On such dates as are appropriate for use in connection with the preparation of assessment rolls, the county shall furnish each city, town and village that assesses real property for purposes of taxation with a copy of the approved tax map or pertinent portion thereof in current condition. . . .

The rules and regulations for the preparation and maintenance of tax maps promulgated by the State Board substantially repeat the above quoted language and state in addition, “Such copy of the map and the copy of the cross reference index shall be readily available for inspection, together with the tentative roll, at the specified place where the tentative assessment roll may be seen and examined by any person.” (9 NYCRR 185.16(b)).

When a tax map is approved by the State Board reference to the identification numbers of any parcel on such map is deemed a sufficient description of such parcel on an assessment roll (Real Property Tax Law, § 502(2)). Assessors are required to assess real property according to its condition and ownership as of taxable status date. Taxable status date for all towns in Suffolk County is June 1, and town assessors are required to prepare the tentative assessment roll at least twenty days prior to the third Tuesday in July when complaints are heard (S.C.T.A., § 5).

Accordingly, tax maps prepared for towns in Suffolk County and approved by the State Board, when furnished to town assessors by the county real property tax service agency should be current through June 1, taxable status date for town purposes. The purpose of furnishing such tax maps to town assessors is two-fold. They are to be. used by assessors in preparing town assessment rolls, and they are to be available for inspection by any person, which obviously includes taxpayers inspecting assessment records in connection with the grievance period.

May 3, 1973