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Assessment Community Weekly 04/09/18

Last call!

The following deadlines are quickly approaching:

  • April 11: View the preliminary taxable state land documents posted in Online Assessment Community and follow the instructions to submit the lists. If you have questions after reviewing the instructions and your list, email
  • April 16: We ask municipal clerks to provide Form RP-7114, Municipal Report of Special Franchise Activity, even if there were no changes in 2017. We encourage clerks to work with the assessors in their jurisdictions when appropriate.

Property tax-related provisions in the 2018-19 Enacted State Budget

The Enacted Budget includes the following provisions. Stay tuned for more details in the upcoming weeks.

  • Beginning with 2019 assessment rolls, our department will confirm the income eligibility of all Enhanced STAR exemption recipients.
  • The telecommunications ceiling program is extended through 2022, and the transition to the new values is adjusted to be more gradual than previously scheduled. We are making the necessary programmatic changes. We will mail the ceiling notices by the middle of next week.
  • As part of New York State’s response to the federal tax changes, local governments and school districts are authorized to create charitable funds. Contributions to such funds may be eligible for a credit against property tax bills.
  • The fund for state aid (Aid for Cyclical Reassessments, Consolidation Incentive Aid, and County Aid) will be the same as recent years: $750,000.
    Reimbursement for training will again be $176,000.

Judicial cases

New Judicial cases:

  • Level 3 Communications v Chautauqua County (Note: Our Counsel’s Office recently responded to a question about this case. Their remarks appear below.)

Taxation of fiber optic cable

You asked our Counsel’s Office whether the recent decision in Level 3 Communications, LLC v. Chautauqua County has implications for the taxable status of fiber optic cable outside of Chautauqua County. Our recommendation continues to be that local officials should seek the advice of their municipal attorneys when deciding whether to treat fiber optic cable as taxable or not.

As for the Tax Department, we intend to maintain the status quo until the Court of Appeals issues a decision on the pending appeal of the decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Matter of T-Mobile Northeast v DeBellis.  Once the court issues a decision, we will review it and decide what, if anything, needs to be changed on our part.  At this time, the parties to the T-Mobile litigation are preparing their appellate briefs. We do not expect the case to be argued, much less decided, until sometime during the court’s 2018–2019 term (which will run from September 2018 through June 2019).