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Volume 6 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 97

Opinions of Counsel index

Public authorities exemption (Job Development Authority) (property acquired subsequent to taxable status date and lien date) - Public Authorities Law, § 1806; Real Property Tax Law, § 302:

There is no authority for a school district to waive taxes levied on taxable real property acquired by the Job Development Authority subsequent to taxable status date and lien date.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether a city school district may waive payment of 1977-78 school district taxes due on a parcel of real property which was taxable on taxable status date and was acquired subsequent to lien date by the New York Job Development Authority in December, 1977.

Property owned by the Job Development Authority is exempt from taxation pursuant to section 1806 of the Public Authorities Law (see also, Real Property Tax Law, § 412).

All real property in the State of New York is required to be assessed for purposes of taxation according to its condition and ownership as of taxable status date (Real Property Tax Law, § 302( 1)). The latest final assessment roll of the city must be used for ascertaining the valuation of real property for the levy of city school district taxes pursuant to Real Property Tax Law, section 1302(1). The taxable status date of the city preparing the assessment roll used in levying school district taxes is controlling for school district purposes (3 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 108).

Generally, property acquired by an exempt entity other than the Federal or State government, subsequent to taxable status date, is liable for taxes levied in that year (5 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 55). Under these facts even if the Job Development Authority were considered to be an arm of the State, which it is not (see, Story House Corporation v. State of New York Job Development Authority, 37 A.D.2d 345, 325 N.Y.S.2d 659, aff’d. 31 N.Y.2d 942, 293 N.E.2d 97, 340 N.Y.S.2d 429), the property would still be liable for the 1977-78 city school taxes since acquisition occurred subsequent to lien date as well as taxable status date (see, 2 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 33).

As regards a waiver of the taxes due, no authority, express or implied, exists for a city school district to waive taxes lawfully assessed and levied against a parcel of real property. Taxing officers may not compromise or release taxes except as authorized by law and they can abate or compromise taxes due only where a valid law so allows (see, McQuillin, Municipal Corporations, § 44.129; Cooley, Taxation, § 1254). The holding in Rochester Housing Authority v. Sibley Corp., 77 Misc.2d 205, 351 N.Y.S.2d 934, aff’d, 49 A.D.2d 718, 367 N.Y.S.2d 969, has no application here. It provides an exception to the general rule that property acquired by an exempt entity subsequent to taxable status date but prior to lien date is subject to taxation, but here acquisition was subsequent to lien date (R.P. Adams Co., Inc. v. Nist, 72 A.D.2d 908, 422 N.Y.S.2d 184).

There is no statutory provision to allow waiver or compromise of the taxes in the instant case. It is noted that Title 6 of Article 10 of the Real Property Tax Law contains statutory provisions authorizing the compromise of certain delinquent taxes and interest; however, these previsions are inapplicable in the instant inquiry since they relate only to tax liens acquired prior to January 1, 1944.

Additionally, it should be noted that section 1804 of the Public Authorities Law, which sets forth the general powers and duties of the Authority, does not apply here to allow waiver or compromise of the school district taxes since that statute clearly does not apply to tax liens existent at the date of the Job Development Authority’s acquisition of the property.

Thus, taxable property acquired by the Job Development Authority subsequent to taxable status date, date of levy and lien date is liable for all taxes levied on the property, and there is no authority for the city school district to waive those taxes and penalties.

February 11, 1980