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Volume 9 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 13

Opinions of Counsel index

Assessments, generally (apportionment) - Real Property Tax Law, § 932; 9 NYCRR 190-2.4:

An assessor must apportion an assessment pursuant to RPTL, § 932 when at least one party with an interest in the affected property submits a written request.

We have been asked whether an assessor may refuse to apportion an assessment pursuant to section 932 of the Real Property Tax Law until all parties with an interest in the affected property submit a written request therefor. In our opinion, the answer is no. Upon the request of at least one such person who furnishes “a particular specification” of his or her interest, the assessor must apportion the assessment “after due notice to the parties affected” (§ 932(1)).

Practically speaking, section 932 requires the assessor, upon request of a person with an identifiable share in the property, to make a preliminary determination of the portion(s) of the assessed value which should be assigned to each interest. At that point, notice of the preliminary determination must be sent to all parties (9 NYCRR 190-2.4(c)).

If the assessor receives a written objection from one or more of these parties within ten days of the mailing of the preliminary notice, he may consider whatever documentation or evidence they may wish to present. However, there is no statutory requirement for a hearing before the assessor, the board of assessment review or any other local government official. After considering objections from these other parties, the assessor must proceed to a final determination of apportionment (9 NYCRR 190-2.4(c)).

In 8 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 89, we concluded that a county may not attach conditions, beyond those set forth in section 932, as a prerequisite to providing an apportionment of assessment upon request pursuant to that section. The rationale expressed in the aforementioned Opinion applies equally to a municipal official such as the town assessor.

April 1, 1987