George Crane Morehouse.

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Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 23 of 96)
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lessees to pay ordinary taxes, the lands of lessor being exempt, — Hdd, that the
buildings erected by lessees were not exempt.

People V. Assessors, 93 N. Y. 308 ; see 27 Hun, 559.

Where relator was incorporated ' ' for the purpose of affording pecuniary
and other relief to such persons, natives of Switzerland, or of Swiss origin, as
may be in the United States and in need of assistance," and purchased real estate
" to give a temporary home, asylum and relief to the sick, necessitous and others
who may be proper objects of its bounty, in accordance with its charter," — Held,

People, ex rel. Swiss Benev. Society, v. Comrs., 36 Hun, 811.

The edifice of a corporation created for the relief of a class of poor and needy
persons, and used exclusively to give a temporary home, asylum and relief to the
sick and necessitous, the corporation deriving no income from the premises and

Of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes. 207

constantly relieving persons who would otherwise be likely to become a public
charge, is an alms-house and exempt.

X<ibi:*a>]:*ies. — 5. The real and personal property of every
public library.

A society incorporated for the encouragement of geographical science, and the
<!ollection, diffusion and perpetuation of useful knowledge where its purposes are
essentially of a public character, and whether directly or indirectly for private or
corporate gain, and where it keeps a library free to the public, is exempt.
People V. Commissioners of Taxes, 11 Hun, 505.

Certain Stocks. — 6. All stocks owned by the State, or
by literary or charitable institutions.


Any moneyed or stock corporation deriving profit or income from
its capital or otherwise, shall add to the dividend which shall be de-
clared upon any stock owned by the State, or by any literary or char-
itable society or institution, a sum equal to the assessment for taxes
paid upon an equal amount of the stock of such corporation not ex-
empt from taxation.

Chap. 409, Laws 1882, § 325.

The provisions of the sixth subdivision above * * * whereby
•all stock owned by the State or by literary or charitable institutions,
in moneyed or stock corporations, are exempted from taxation, are_
hereby declared to be for the benefit of the State or the institutions
owning such stocks, and not for the benefit of the said corporations.

Id., §326.

Personal Estate of Incorporated Company,
etc. — 7. The personal estate of every incorporated company not
made liable to taxation on its capital in the fourth title of this

See post, " Corporations."
2E. S. 982, §4, subd. 7.

§ 269, Clergymen. — 8. The personal property of every
minister of the gospel or priest of any denomination, or every such
minister or priest, who is permanently disabled by impaired health
from performing the active duties of the ministry, and every such
■minister or priest who has reached the age of seventy-five years;
and the real estate of such minister or priest, or such disabled or
aged minister or priest, when occupied by him, provided such real
-and personal estate do not exceed the value of $1,500.

Id., §1, subd. 8.

If the real and personal estate, or either of them, of any minister

208 SuPEEvisoEs' Manual.

or priest, exceed the value of $1,500, that sum shall be deducted from
the valuation of his property, and the residue shall be liable to taxation.

2 E. S. 982, § 5.

The rule to be deduced from the above is as follows :
Such clergyman as is specified therein, if he owns real and per-
sonal property exceeding $1,500, is entitled to a reduction hy the asses-
sors, of $1,500 from the sum of the value of his real and personal
estate, whether he occupies the land or not.

People, ex rel. Mann, v. Peterson, 31 Hun, 421.

If the assessors do not allow his exemption in the assessment-roll,
his remedy is to apply to them on grievance day and put in his proof
therefor, and if they again refuse it, his remedy is by certiorari to
review the assessment.

The board of supervisors have no jurisdiction to grant his relief,
where he neglects to apply to the assessors and the court therefor, as
above specified.

The assessors had jurisdiction of the subject, and their action
thereon was judicial in its nature.

Weaver t. Diefifendorf, 3 Denio, IIT ; Williams V. Weaver, 75 N. Y. 34.

The statement last above applies to those cases where the assessors have juris-
diction to act andiu which the valuation exceeds $1,500. Thej are the judges of
values {People v. Tnutees, 48 N. Y. 390), and the supervisors are not given power
to review the valuation fixed by the assessors, which can be reviewed by the
courts as the law prescribes.

See the decisions cited under " Manifest Errors," § 343 ; also t^ 339, post, and
48 N. Y. 390, supra.

In Foster v. Van Wyck, the court says the only mode of avoiding such an as-
sessment is by an application to the assessors (on review day), or by a proceed-
ing in court to correct the errors or irregularities. * * * The cases holding
" that when a tax is illegally assessed and collected, the money may be recovered
back," are cases where there was a want of jurisdiction. In Osl)orn v. Danmrs,
6 Pick. 89, it was held, " that when a taxable inhabitant is overrated by the asses-
sors, whether by including in the valuation property of which he is not the
owner or that for which he is not liable to be taxed, that does not render the assess-
ment invalid or void."

2 Abb. Ct. App. Deo. in-4.

If, however, the assessors have no jurisdiction, as where a person is whoVy ex-
empted, or all of certain property is exempted, then if they insert such person,
or such property, in the roll, it should be stricken out.
Inre'S.Y. Catholic Protectory, 77 N. Y. 342.

With this qualification the rule above should be followed, and the beard of su-
pervisors are obliged, by law, to annex a tax to the name of every person as-
sessed upon the roll, and to issue a warrant for the collection of the tax.
Mygatt T. Washburn, 15 N. Y. 316-821; 2 E. S. 996, i 33.

Of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes. 209

If, however, the sum of the value of the real and personal property is $1,500
or less, the clergyman must, it seems, occupy %\e real estate, in order to entitle him
to an exemption for such real estate.
See cases supra,

§ 270. 9. All Property Exempted by Law
from Execution.

2B. S. 982, §4, Bubd. 9, except "homesteads."

The following personal property, when owned by a householder,
is exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution by the Code
of Civil Procedure :

§ 1390. 1. All spinning-wheels, weaving-looms, one sewing-ma-
chine, with its appurtenances, and stoves pat up or kept for use in a

2. The family Bible, family pictures and school books used by or
in the family, and other books not exceeding in value $50, kept and
used as a part of the family library.

3. A seat or pew occupied by the judgment debtor, or the family,
in a place of public worship.

4r. Ten sheep, with their fleeces, and the yarn or cloth manufac-
tured therefrom ; one cow, two swine, the necessary food for those ani-
mals ; all necessary meat, fish, flour and vegetables actually provided
for family use ; and necessary fuel, oil and candles for the use of the
family for sixty days.

5. All wearing apparel, beds, bedsteads and bedding necessary for
the judgment debtor and the family ; all necessary cooking utensils ;
one table; six chairs ; six knives; six forks; six spoons; six plates;
six tea cups ; six saucers ; one sugar dish ; one milk pot ; one tea pot ;
one crane and its appendages ; one pair of andirons ; one coal-scuttle ;
one shovel ; one pair of tongs ; one lamp and one candlestick.

6. The tools and implements of a mechanic, necessary to the car-
rying on of his trade, not exceeding in value $25.

" § 1391. In addition to the exemptions allowed by the last section,
necessary household furniture, working tools and team, professional
instruments, furniture and library, not exceeding in value $250, to-
gether with the necessary food for the team, for ninety days, are
exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, when owned
by a person being a householder, or having a family fcr which he
provides, except where the execution is issued upon a judgment,
recovered wholly upon one or more demands, either for work per-
formed in the family as a domestic, or for the purchase-money of
one or more articles^ except as prescribed in this or the last section.

§ 1392. Where the judgment debtor is a woman, she is entitled
to the same exemptions from levy and sale by virtue of an execu-
tion, subject to the same exceptions as prescribed in the last two sec-
tions in the case of a householder.

§ 1393. The pay and bounty of a non-commissioned officer, musician
or private, in the military or naval service of the United States ; a

210 SaPEKvisoEs' Manual.

land warrant, pension, or other reward, heretofore or hereafter granted
by the United States, or by a State, for military or naval services;
a sword, horse, medal, emblem, or device of any kind, presented as
a testimonial for services rendered in the military or naval service
of the United States ; and the uniform, arms and equipments, which
were used by a person in that service, are also exempt from levy and
sale by virtue of an execution, and from seizure for non-payment of
taxes, or in any other legal proceeding.

§ 1394:. A right of action to recover damages, or damages awarded
by a judgment, for taking or injuring personal property exempt by
law from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, are exempt for
one year after the collection thereof from levy and sale by virtue of
an execution, and from seizure in any other legal proceeding.

Code of Civ. Proc, § 1390 ei seq.


§ 1395. Laud, set apart as a family or private burying-ground, and
heretofore designated, as prescribed by law, in order to exempt the
same, or hereafter designated for that purpose, as prescribed in the
next section, is exempt from sale, by virtue of an execution, upon
the following conditions only :

1. A portion of it must have been actually used for that purpose.

2. It must not exceed in extent one-fourth of an acre.

3. It must not contain, at the time of its designation, or at any
time afterward, any building or structure, except one or more vaults,
or other places of deposit for the dead, or mortuary monuments.

§ 1396. In order to designate land, to be exempted as prescribed
in the last section, a notice containing a full description of the land
to be exempted, and stating that it has been set apart for a family or
private burying-ground, must be subscribed by the owner ; acknowl-
edged or proved, and certified, in like manner as a deed to be re-
corded in the county where the land is situated ; and recorded in the
oflBce of the county clerk or register of that county, in the proper
book for recording deeds, at least three days before the sale of the
land, by virtue of the execution.

§211. A '■'■Homestead'''' is not exempt from taxation. The
enumeration of the property which is exempt from levy and sale
by virtue of an execution does not repeal any special provision of
law relating to such an exemption which, by its terms, is applicable
only to a particular class of persons or corporations, or to a particular
locality or otherwise to a special case.

Code of Civ. Proc, §1889.

Lands sold by the State, though not granted or conveyed, shall be
assessed in the same manner as if actually conveyed.

2B. S. 982, §6.

The owner or holder of stock in any incorporated company

Of the Assessment and Collection oe Taxes. 211

liable to taxation on its capital, shall not be taxed as an individual
for such stock.
Id., § 7.

New York Hospital.

See chap. 466, Lawsof 1875.

§272. Agricultural Society Lands.— All lands
now held, or which may hereafter be held by any agricultural so-
ciety in this State, and permanently used for show-grounds by any
such society, shall be exempt from taxation during the time so used.

Chap. 183, Laws of 1856.

§ 273. Plankroads and Turnpikes.— Toll-houses
and other fixtures and all property belonging to any plank or turn-
pike road company, shall be exempt from assessment and taxation
for any purpose whatsoever, until the surplus annual receipts of tolls
on their respective roads, over necessary repairs, and a suitable reserve
fund for repairs and relaying of plank shall exceed seven per cent
per annum on the first cost of such road. In case of any disagree-
ment between the assessors of any town, village or city, and any such
company concerning such exemption claimed, said company may ap-
peal to the county judge of the county in which such assessment is pro-
posed to be made, who shall, after due notice to the appealing party
of such appeal, examine the books and vouchers of such company
and take such further proof as he shall deem proper and shall de-
cide whether such company is liable to taxation under this section,
and his decision shall be final.

Chap. 546, Laws of 1855, amending chap. 87, Laws of 1854, § 5.

§ 2T4. Soldiers' Monument Associations.-The

property of such associations formed pursuant to chapter 273, Laws
of 1866, and its amendments, is exempt from all public taxes, rates
and assessments, and no street, road, avenue or thoroughfare shall be
laid through the lands of such association held for the purposes of
said act, without the consent of the trustees of such association, ex-
cept by special permission of the legislature.

§ 5, chap. 273, Laws of 1866, as amended by chap. 299, Laws of 1888.

Any such association may erect, as the monument contemplated
by this act, a memorial hall, or building, and may take and hold the
real estate necessary or proper for that purpose, not to exceed in
amount the sum of $25,000, and the real estate held for the pur-

212 SuPEKVisoHs' Manual.

poses of such memorial hall or building shall not be exempt from
Id., §7.

Section 6 allows a tax to be imposed and collected on the taxable
property of any town or city in which such monument or monu-
ments may be erected to repair or improve the same and the grounds •
thereof, in the same manner as general taxes are imposed.

§ 275. Firemen in Incorporated Villages.—
Their property to the amount of $500 is exempt from village taxes,
and the real and personal property of such fire companies may be
exempted by vote at any general or any special election called for
that purpose.

Chap. 250, Laws of 1879, § 11.

§ 276. Cemeteries. — No land actually used and occupied
for cemetery purposes shall be assessed.

Chap. 310, Lawtt of 1879.

This act does not apply to the city of Rochester.

§ 277. Warner's Observatory.

The building known as Warner's Observatory, situate on the south
side of East avenue in the city of Rochester, in this State, and the
lot upon which said building is located shall hereafter be exempt
from assessment or taxation for any purpose whatever, during the
time said building shall be used for astronomical, scientific or educa-
tional purposes, and the said observatory shall be open to the public
at least two evenings in each week under regulations prescribed by
the president of the Rochester University.

Chap. 391, Laws of 1886.

§278. Indian Reservations. — The property of the
Seneca nation of Indians on the Allegany and Cattaraugus Reser-
vations is exempt. So is that on the Tonawanda Reservation.

Chap. 45, Laws of 1857 ; chap. 491, Laws of 1860, § 4.

§ 279. Lig^ht-houses. — Lands ceded to the United States
for the purpose of light-houses are exempt.

Chaps. 49 and 432, Laws of 1874.

§ 280. O-wner of Stock. — The owner or holder of stock
in any incorporated company liable to taxation on its capital shall
not be taxed as an individual for such stock.

2 R. S. 982, S7.
See " Corporations.''

Of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes, 313

§ 281. New York City Bonds. — Certain bonds and
stocks of the city of New York are exempt from taxation by the
city and county of New York, but not exempt for State purposes.

Chap. 552, Laws of 1880.

§ 282. Bonds, Mortg>agres, etc., for Collection.

— When any bond, mortgage, note, contract, account or other de-
mand, belonging to any person, not being a resident of this State,
shall be sent to this State for collection, or shall be deposited in this
State for the same purpose, such property shall be exempt from tax-
ation ; and nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to
render any agent of such owner liable to be assessed or taxed for
such property ; but every such agent shall be entitled to have any
such property deducted from his assessment, upon making affidavit
before the assessors at the time appointed by them for reviewing
their assessments, that such property belongs to a non-resident owner,
and therein specifying his name and residence.

2 K. S. 1049, § 3 ; Williams t. Bd. of Supervisors, 78 N. Y. 562.

§283. Deposits in Savings Banks.— The deposits
in any bank for savings which are due to depositors, and the accu-
mulations in any life insurance company organized under the laws of
this State, so far as the said accumulations are held for the exclusive
benefit of the assured, shall not be liable to taxation, other than the
real estate and stocks which may be owned by such bank or com-
pany, and which are now liable to taxation under the laws of the

Chap. 456, Laws of 1857. See § 406, post.

§ 284. Moneys, Relief, etc., of Life or Casu-
alty Insurance Upon the Co-Operative or As-
sessment Plan, Wben Exempt.

See post, ' ' Corporations . "

§285. Regr^S^^^^d Vessels. — All vessels registered at
any port in this State, and owned by any American citizen or asso-
ciation, or by any corporation incorporated under the Laws of the
State of New York, engaged in ocean commerce between any port
in the United States and any foreign port, are exempted from all
taxation in this State for State and local purposes ; and all such cor-
porations, all of whose vessels are employed between foreign ports
and ports in the United States, are exempted from all taxation in
this State, for State and local purposes, upon their capital stock,
franchises and earnings for the period of fifteen years.

Chap. 433, Laws of 1881.

314 SupEKVisoEs' Manual.

§286. Gas-light Companies. — Such companies or-
ganized under chapter 37, Laws of 1848, may have their persoTial
property exempted from taxation for not exceeding three years from
their organization by the city, town or village authorities wherein
such companies are located.

§ 18, as amended by chap . 95, Laws of 1871 .

§28?. United States Securities.— AH stocks, bonds,
treasury notes, and other obligations of the United States (which
include all bonds, certificates of indebtedness, national currency,
coupons, United States notes, treasury notes, fractional notes, cer-
tificates of deposit, bills, checks or drafts for money drawn by or
upon authorized officers of the United States, stamps and other rep-
resentatives of value of whatever denomination, which have been
or may be issued under any act of congress), are exempt.

2U. S. R. S_., §§ sroi and 5413.

§ 288. Town, City, Villag-e and County Bonds.

— All bonds of towns, cities, villages and counties isBiied under the
provisions of chapter 316, Laws of 1886, and prior acts, chapter 522,
Laws of 1881, and its supplements are exempt until the period when
they are made payable.

For Exemption of Corporations, see post, chapter VI.


§ 289. I<ands of Individuals. — Every person shall be
assessed in the town or ward where he resides when the assessment
is made, for all lands then owned by him within such town or ward,
and occupied by him, or wholly unoccupied.

2R. S. 989, §1.
See Decisions, §§ 291, 292, 295, 299-301, 308, 310.

§ 290. Lands of Corporations. — The real estate of
incorporated companies liable to taxation shall be assessed in the
town or ward in which the same shall lie in the same manner as the
real estate of individuals.
Id. 990, § 6.

See post, " Corporations.''

§ 291. Eor definition of "land," see ante, "Property hable to
taxation," §§ 257-8. The interest of a lessee of real property is «
taxable as real estate.

Trustees of Elmira t. Dunn, 22 Barb. 402.

Parties may, by contract, so regulate their respective interests in

Of the Assessment and Collection op Taxes. 215

real estate that one may be the- owner of the buildings and the other
of the laud.

In such case, each interest may be assessed to its owner, and an
assessment of the buildings as real estate is proper.

People, e3>rel. MuUer, v. Board of Asseaaors, 93 N. Y. 308, and casea cited ; People,
ex rel. Van Neat, v. Comra., 80 id. 573.

§ 292. Occupied Lands. — Lands occupied by a person
other than the owner may be assessed to the occupant, as lands of
non-residents, or if the owner resides in the county in which such
lands are located, to such owner.

2 R. S. 989, I 2, aa amended by chap. 152, Laws of 1878.
See Decisions, g§ 293, 295-9, 801, 308, 310.

A tax sale of lands under an assessment to a person other than the owner or
occupant, is invalid.

Zink T. McManus, 49 Hun, 583.

This act has no reference to lands divided by a town or county line in respect
to the place of taxation.

People, ex rel. Vanderveer, t. Wilaon, 5 N. Y. Sup. 280.

See this case more fully set out in next section.

The assessors have no jurisdiction of the person of a non-resident of the county
whereby they can lawfully initiate a charge against him personally for a tax be-
cause of lands owned, but not occupied by him in their town.
Hilton V. Fonda, 86 N. Y. 339.

Persons may be assessed in the town of their residence for lands owned and
occupied by them therein, or owned by them therein and wholly unoccupied; or
occupied by them therein and owned by another; or for adjoining lands, part of a
farm or lot occupied by them in another town; and in another town of the county
of their residence, for lands owned by them in that town.
Id. 316.

It is only when there is occupation of a tract, or part of it, by a resident of the
town, that the assessment may be made against the name of a person and then
the name used must be that of the occupant resident in the town or of the owner
resident in the county.
Id. 347.

If lands in a town owned by one not a resident of the county are occupied by a
person other than the owner, they may be assessed to the occupant.

Where the owner is a non-resident of the State, the land situated in and occu-
pied by one S., a resident of the town, who used the land for the storage of lum-
ber, held, that the sole jurisdiction of the assessors was to value the land against
the resident occupant, and so initiate a charge upon him personally. They had
no jurisdiction to value the lands against the owner, since he was a non-resident,
nor could they be assessed as non-resident lands since they were not unoccupied.
Stewart t. Cryaler, 100 N. Y. 378.

216 SuPEEVisoKs' Manuai.

§ 293. Divided by Town or County Line.—

When the line between two towns, wards or counties divides a farm,
or lot, the same shall be taxed, if occupied, in the town, ward or
county where the occupant resides; if unoccupied, each part shall
be assessed in the town, ward, village or county where the same shall

2 R. S. 989, as amended ty chap. 815, Laws of 1886.
See Decisions, §§ 293, 295-9, 301, 308 310.

Where a fann, the whole of which is occupied, and which lies partly in each
of two adjoining towns, is assessed by the assessors of the town in which the oc-
cupant does not reside, the assessment and tax founded thereon are illegal and
void, and the assessors are personally liable for damages resulting therefrom.
Dorn T. Backer, 61 N. T. 261; Dorn t. Fox, id. 264.

The whole farm should be assessed in the town in whicn tne occupant resides.
Eelator owned a farm which was intersected by a town line, and lived with his
father on an adjoining farm, owned by the father and wholly within another
town. Work was done on relator's farm with the father's teams and tools, and
the father's cows were pastured there, but milked on his own farm. Produce
was brought from relator's farm to that of the father, where the teams were kept.
MM, that relator's farm was " occupied" jointly by the father and son, and tax-
able in the town where the father and son resided.

Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 23 of 96)