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Volume 7 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 112

Opinions of Counsel index

Tax sales (submission of notice to State Board) (local tax act) - Niagara County Tax Delinquency Act, § 7; Real Property Tax Law, §§ 1004, 2006:

There is nothing in the Niagara County Tax Delinquency Act which is inconsistent with the requirement of section 1004 of the Real Property Tax Law that, prior to publication, a notice of tax sale be submitted to the State Board for approval.

We have been asked whether the Niagara County Treasurer is required to submit an annual Notice of Tax Sale to the State Board (per section 1004 of the RPTL), since the Niagara County Legislature has authorized this officer to “bid in” all liens at the annual tax lien sale, as provided in subdivision 3 of section 1008 of the Real Property Tax Law. Subdivision 1 of section 1004 states that “no such notice [of tax sale] shall be published until submitted to and approved by the state board.”

If the provisions of a county tax act are inconsistent or incompatible with the RPTL, the county tax act generally prevails unless the State Legislature has provided specifically to the contrary (RPTL, § 2006). There have been several special acts of the State Legislature applicable to the collection of taxes in Niagara County (L. 1904, c.744; as amended by L.1936, c.665; L.1943, c.712; L.1950, c.670; L.1956, c.796). Section 7 of Chapter 744 of the Laws of 1904 sets forth the requirements relative to published notice of a tax lien sale in Niagara County. We have previously considered that section and concluded that certain amendments to the RPTL had no application to Niagara County because they would have “repealed or otherwise affected” the provisions of Chapter 744 of the Laws of 1904-a result contrary to section 2006 of the RPTL (see, 5 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 38).

In regard to submission of the Notice of Tax Sale, however, we find no similar incompatibility between the requirements of the RPTL and those of the Niagara County Tax Delinquency Act. The primary purpose for submitting the annual Notice of Tax Sale is to allow the State Board to examine the list of tax delinquent parcels and determine whether any State lands have been included (RPTL, § 1004(2)). Any county treasurer who is advised of the presence of State lands on the list must strike the parcel(s) and notify the State Board as provided in subdivision 2 of section 1004.

Accordingly, we believe the provisions of section 7 of that Tax Act are compatible with the submission of notice requirements of RPTL, section 1004, and that prior to publication the Niagara County Treasurer must submit to the State Board an annual list of tax delinquent parcels.

October 13, 1982