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03/27/2023 Assessment Community Weekly

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New ORPTS leadership

Please join us in welcoming Rachel Ingalsbe as the new Interim Director of the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS).

Rachel joined the Tax Department last year as the Director of the Bureau of Internal Audit and Quality Control, where she has worked with employees throughout the Department and gained valuable knowledge on our operations.  She also has a deep background in both state and local government, having previously served as a Principal Examiner of Municipal Affairs at the Office of the State Comptroller, as a school business manager for school districts in Washington and Saratoga counties, and as a director of Endpoint Management at the Office of Information Technology Services.

Rachel’s operational and analytical skills will be a great asset to ORPTS as we focus on providing excellent service to local governments and the assessment community. To supplement the transition to a stronger ORPTS, we will fill more positions shortly to help make sure ORPTS remains strong, effective, and successful in its core missions.

Two final reminders:

Two RPSV4 updates now available

The following RPSV4 updates are available in the Online Assessment Community:

Cost_2023 updates the cost data in RPSV4.

Release 2020.4224 implements changes for the administration of two new exemptions:

  • statewide volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers (RPTL 466-a)
  • newly constructed residential property in two villages (RPTL 485-w; available to Minoa and Owego for local opt-in)
  • Note: There are various unprecedented options within RPTL 466-a for which this release will not provide full functionality. For example, RPSV4 cannot process a situation where only a fire district is offering the exemption or where taxing jurisdictions within an assessing unit can choose different levels of benefit. This is the first time that an exemption has been enacted with such provisions, and they would require extensive changes to the RPSV4 system, including its structure. Since our emphasis is on the development of RPS Online, these changes will be fully incorporated into the functionality and structure of RPS Online. We are working on potential solutions to accommodate these circumstances within RPSV4 without extensive rewriting of the existing system. We will share more information as it becomes available.

How do I verify a volunteer firefighter or ambulance worker is not getting an income tax credit?

We wish to clear up some confusion about the relationship between the two tax-related benefits that are available to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers—namely, the local option RPT exemption authorized by sections 466-a through 466-k of the RPTL, and the $200 statewide income tax credit authorized by the Tax Law.  The tax credit law generally provides that a volunteer who is receiving the exemption is not eligible for the credit. It is important to understand, however, that this ban on “double-dipping” does not affect the administration of the exemption, only the credit. In other words, assessors have no legal role in the enforcement of this ban, and they should not take it into consideration when reviewing exemption applications. 

The eligibility criteria for the exemption are set forth in the RPTL (and summarized in the Assessor’s Manual and on the application form). Generally speaking, the RPTL makes the exemption available to enrolled members of incorporated volunteer fire companies, fire departments, and incorporated voluntary ambulance services who meet the specified residency and certification requirements. The exemption statutes say nothing about the credit. The ban on double-dipping is found only in the credit statute, and that ban is worded in terms of eligibility for the credit, not eligibility for the exemption. 

It also bears mention that the Tax Department cannot lawfully identify credit recipients for assessors without explicit statutory authorization. No such authorization exists. If the Legislature wanted assessors to be involved in screening out double-dippers, it surely would put language in the law instructing the Department to share credit recipient lists with assessors, as it has done with STAR. 

In summary, as the law is structured, the ban on double-dipping comes into play only when determining eligibility for the credit. That means that the duty to enforce this ban falls entirely upon the Tax Department, which is solely responsible for processing and auditing claims for the credit. That is why the exemption application form does not ask the applicant to specify whether they are receiving the credit; it is legally irrelevant to the applicant’s eligibility for the exemption. Accordingly, you should determine the eligibility of exemption applicants based solely on the criteria set forth in the RPTL, and refrain from asking applicants to prove they are not receiving the credit. Please leave the enforcement of the double-dipping ban to us.

FYI: annual request for special franchise reports sent to municipal clerks 

We are sending the below email to municipal clerks this week. Note that we encourage clerks to work closely with assessors to complete the form.

Please take a moment to complete Form RP-7114, Municipal Report of Special Franchise Activity, for the 2022 calendar year.

Use Form RP-7114 to report:

  • special franchise boundary changes,
  • new special franchise, and
  • construction in the public right of way.

We ask that all municipalities complete this form, even if there were no changes last year. If there were no changes, simply:

  • enter the name and SWIS code in Part 1,
  • select No in Part 2,
  • enter NA in Parts 3 and 4, and
  • ask your supervisor or mayor to complete Part 6.

By April 17, please return the form and any attachments to the mailing address, fax, or email on the form. If you have questions, email

While municipal clerks are responsible to complete and submit the form, we encourage you to work closely with your assessor to complete the form.

Judicial cases

New Judicial cases:

  • Matter of 129 MacDougal St. Assoc. Inc. v Tax Commn. of the City of N.Y.
  • Matter of Happy Rehab, LLC v Assessor for the Town of Glenville
  • James B. Nutter & Co. v County of Saratoga