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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 58

Opinions of Counsel index

Special ad valorem levies (imposition after completion of roll) - County Law, Article 5-A; Real Property Tax Law, § 102 (14):

Special ad valorem levies may not be imposed on the current assessment roll on behalf of county sewer districts after such roll has been tentatively filed.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether special ad valorem levies to be imposed on behalf of county sewer districts formed under Article 5-A of the County Law can be levied on assessment rolls completed before the assessors had knowledge of the existence of the districts.

Apparently the county has spent $35,000 in connection with the formation of these sewer districts. Under the provisions of section 267 of the County Law these expenses are considered to be part of the cost of the improvement which can be levied and assessed on the parcels of real property located in the districts. Also, at the time the districts were established, the county board of supervisors decided to finance the districts through special ad valorem levies (defined in Real Property Tax Law, § 102(14)) imposed pursuant to section 270 of the County Law rather than by special assessments (defined in Real Property Tax Law, § 102(15)) imposed according to the procedure set forth in section 271 of that law. The county sewer agency would like to collect the $35,000 this year by levy on the assessment rolls completed in 1974. We are asked for our opinion as to whether or not such a levy can be made on these rolls.

It is our opinion that special ad valorem levies cannot be levied on the 1974 assessments.

Under the provisions of subdivision 2 of section 102 of the Real Property Tax Law, the duty is given to the assessor to determine whether or not real property is subject to special ad valorem levies. Thus it is incumbent upon local assessors in preparing the tentative assessment roll under the provisions of Article 5 of the Real Property Tax Law to indicate on this tentative roll the special districts in which any parcels thereon are located and whether said parcels are subject to the special ad valorem levies of the districts (Real Property Tax Law, § 502(6) and (7)). The assessor also must apportion the assessed value of parcels which are only partly located within a special district (Real Property Tax Law, § 504(2)). According to the information furnished, no such determinations were made by assessors on the 1974 roll. This duty (i.e., of determining the parcels which are subject to the levies and indicating this determination on the assessment roll) cannot be done by any other official or governmental body. The jurisdiction of town assessors over the rolls ceases after the assessors complete and file the assessment roll in tentative form (on or before June 1).

In conclusion, therefore, the county sewer agency should notify the appropriate assessors of the boundaries of the districts and request that the determinations be made on the assessment rolls to be prepared next year.

November 15, 1974

NOTE:  Superseded by Opinion 11-101.