George Crane Morehouse.

The 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

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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 31 of 96)
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description of such lands shall not have been added by such super-
visor to the assessment-roll of his town or ward for the year during
which such transcript shall have been forwarded by the comptroller
to the county treasurer, the board of supervisors shall cause such
arrears of taxes, and the interest thereon, to be levied on the valu-
ations of the estates, real and personal, of the town or ward in which
such taxes were originally assessed, and shall direct the same to be
collected with the other taxes of the same year.

Id., $ 20, as amended by chap. 152, Laws 1878.

384 Supervisors' Manual.

§ 371. How Assessed in Case of Division of
TOT^n. — If the town or ward in which such taxes were originallj
assessed shall have been divided since such assessment, then such
taxes and interest shall be apportioned by the board of supervisors
among the towns and wards included in the limits of such original
towns or wards, in such equitable manner as they may deem proper.

Id., § 21, as amended by chap. 152, Laws of 187S. 2 R. S. 1022.

§ 372. Tax, When Canceled.— Whenever it shall be
made to appear to the comptroller that any tax returned as unpaid
was, previously to such return, paid to the collector or county treas-
urer, the comptroller shall cancel such tax on the books of his office ;
and if the same shall have been also paid into the State treasury he
shall cause it to be repaid out of the treasury to the person by whom
such payment shall have been made.

Whenever any unpaid tax, levied upon an assessment of land by
a town or ward having a legal right to assess the same, which may
have been returned to and admitted by the comptroller, shall be as-
certained, either before or after sale therefor, to be illegal or void by
reason of any irregularity, or defect in, or omission of, statutory re-
quirements for creating or collecting such tax, the comptroller is
hereby empowered and directed, whenever deemed practicable by
him, to re-levy the correct amount of such tax and add thereto the
five per cent allowed by law to be added by the collector, which aggre-
gate amount of tax and eliarge, with interest thereon at ten per cent
per annum, from the first day of August following the admission of
such illegal or void tax, shall thereupon be due and payable, and
shall be subject to existing provisions of law governing the collection
of and sale for unpaid taxes by the comptroller ; but no tax arising
from a double assessment, the taxes levied on one of which shall be
satisfactorily proven to the comptroller to have been duly paid, shall
be subject to such re-levy. Such re-levy of any invalid or defective
tax shall be conclusive evidence of its regularity and legality, and
any such tax, so re-levied, shall be treated and subject to payment as
though such sale had not been made, and if allowed to remain un-
paid, the land shall be sold therefor.

Id., § 22, as amended bj chap. 453, Laws of 1885.

Not applicable to Cattaraugus or Chautauqua counties. Chapter 453, Laws of
1885, § 5.

See, also. People, ex rel. Wright, v. Chapin, SB Hnn, 2T2.

Of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes. 285

§373. Account to be Transmitted to Supeiv
ViSOrs* — Whenever any tax shall be so canceled by the comp-
troller, he shall transmit an account thereof to the treasurer of the
proper county, who shall cause the same to be laid before the board
of supervisors thereof, and the amount of such tax with the interest
shall be collected by them of the collector or county treasurer who
made such erroneous returns, and be paid into the treasury of
this State.

Id., § 23.

§ 374. Gomptrollermay Require Correct Re-
turns.— If, in consequence of having received irregular and im-
perfect descriptions of the lands of non-residents in anv tovt^n, the
comptroller shall apprehend that irregular or imperfect returns may
again be received, he may give notice of such apprehension to the
board of supervisors of the proper county at their annual meeting,
specifying the several towns in such county the returns from which
will probably require correction.

2 R. S. 1049, § 1.

§ 375. Duty of Supervisors Thereupon.— It shall

be the duty of such board of supervisors to require the assessors and
the collector of such town specified in the notice of the comptroller,
to meet in such town at such place as shall be designated by the su-
pervisors, within thirty days of the expiration of the time when the
collectors are to make their returns to the county treasurers.

2 E. S. 1050, § 8.

§ 376. ^Vbere Sales are Invalid, Tax to be Re-
assessed. — Whenever the comptroller shall discover, prior to
the conveyance of any lands sold for taxes, that the sale was for any
cause whatever invalid or ineffectual to give title to the lands sojd,
the lands so improperly sold shall not be conveyed, but the comp-
troller shall cancel the sale, and forthwith cause the purchase-money
and interest thereon to be refunded out^of the State treasury to the
purchaser, his representatives or assigns.

Laws of 1855, chap. 427, § 83 ; 2 E. S. 1082, § 83.

If the error originated with the county or town officers the sum so
paid shall be a charge against the county from which the tax was re-
turned ; and the board of supervisors shall cause the same to be as-
sessed, levied, collected and paid to the treasurer of this State-

Id., s 84.

If the discovery that the sale was invalid shall not be made until

286 SuPERvisoEs' Manual.

after the conveyance shall have been executed for the lands sold, it
shall be the duty of the comptroller, on receiving evidence thereof,
to cancel the sale, to refund out of the State treasury to the purchaser,
his representatives or assigns, the purchase-money and interest
thereon, and to re-charge the county from which the tax was returned,
with the amount of purchase-money, and interest at the rate of seven
per cent from the time of the sale, and such couuty shall cause the
same to be levied and paid as provided in the last preceding section.

Id., §85.

Seel04N. T.96, 369: 105 id. 309; 103 id. 635; 109 id. 177; 88 Hun, 272; 46 id.
888} 26 N. Y. Week. Dig. 112, 320; 27 id. 515.

§ 377. Purchase of Lands Sold for Benefit of
County. — It shall be the duty of the comptroller at any tax sale
held by him to bid in for the State all lands liable to sale thereat
then belonging to the State, or that are then mortgaged to the com-
missioners for loaning certain moneys of the United States ; and to
bid in for each of the counties of the State all other lands liable to be
sold thereat, then belonging to said counties, respectively, and also all
lands which may have been bid in by or for said counties, respect-
ively, at any tax sale which has not been canceled, or from which
said lands may not have been duly redeemed, and to reject any and
all other bids which may be made for any or all of said lands.

Laws of 1355, chap. 427, as amended by Laws of 1881, chap. 402, § 66, subd. 1; 2
R. S. 1029.

It shall further be the duty of the comptroller, at any such sale,
to bid in for each of the counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Mon-
roe, Oswego, Suffolk and Sullivan, and for all other counties for
which there may at the time be special laws authorizing and directing
the treasurer thereof to sell "lands ot non-residents" for unpaid
taxes thereon, and by and under the provisions of which such taxes
are not to be returned to the comptroller, respectively, every lot of
land in each of said counties, respectively, liable to be sold at said
sale, for which no person shall offer to bid, and to bid in for the
State every other lot of land liable to be sold at said sale for which
no person shall so offer to bid.

Id., subd. 2. See, also, chap. 464, Laws of 188S.

§ 378. Certificates of Sale of Lands Bid in.
Duties of Comptroller and County Treasur-
ers. — Certificates of sale for all lands bid in by the comptroller
under the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 2 of this section shall
be made by the comptroller, which shall describe the lands purchased

Of the Assessment and Collection- of Taxes. 287

and specify tlae time when a deed therefor can be obtained. Such
purchases shall be subject to the same right of redemption as pur-
chases by individuals ; and if the lands so sold shall not be redeemed,
the comptroller's deed therefor shall have the same effect, and become
absolute in the same time, and on the performance of the like con-
ditions as in the case of sales and conveyances to individuals.

Id., Bubd. 3.

The comptroller shall charge to each county, respectively, on the
books of his office, the amount for which it may be liable, by reason
of any and all purchases made in accordance with the preceding pro-
visions of this section. Such amount shall become due on the last
day of each tax sale, respectively, and shall be payable in the same
manner as the State tax is now required by law to be paid.

Id., subd. 4.

The comptroller shall, as soon as practicable after each tax sale,
transmit the certificates of sale for said lands to the treasurer of each
of said counties, respectively, on receipt of which, said treasurer shall
enter the same, in their proper order, in a book to be provided by
him for such purpose, and shall have, unless otherwise directed by
the board: of supervisors of his county, fiill power and authority,
until the expiration of two years from the last day of said sale, to
sell and assign any or all of said certificates for any land not at the
time owned by his county, on payment therefor, into the coimty
treasury, of the amount for which the land described thereon was
6old at the said sale, with interest thereon from the date of such tax
sale to the date of such sale and assignment by him. Any such sale
and assignment shall be duly and fully entered by such county treas-
urer in the book aforesaid, which book shall be a part of the records
of the county.

Id., subd. 5.

§ 379. Deed to and Vesting* of Title in Super-
viS0X*S. — In case said tax sale certificate or certificates shall not
have been sold or assigned by the respective county treasurers on or
before the expiration of two years from the last day of said sale, each of
said county treasurers shall then transmit such unsold certificate or cer-
tificates to the comptroller, who shall issue to the board of supervisors
of each county, respectively, a deed or deeds for all the lands described
thereon, then remaining unredeemed, or the sale of which has not been
canceled. The title thus acquired by the boards of supervisors shall
be held by them in trust for their respective counties, and may be
disposed of by them at such times and on such terms as shall be

288 Supervisors' Manual.

determined on by a majority of siicli board at any regnlar or special
meeting thereof.
Id., siibd. 6.
§§ 377-9, not applicable to Ulster county, chapter 158, Laws of 1885.

§ 380. The subject of rejected taxes occasions much tboubleand
annoyance, both to the State and connty officers. The account with
the comptroller is seldom closed, and year after year, the same diffi-
culty continues. The best solution of the question yet submitted is
the law in practice in Oneida county and since introduced into Cay-
uga, Chenango, Jefferson, Onondaga, Orleans, Oswego and Ulster.
It was written by Mr. J. B. Cushman, of Utica, N. T., one of the
oldest members of the board of supervisors of Oneida county. It
works satisfactorily, thoroughly and well, and deserves th& commen-
dation it has received. The account with the comptroller, as to
Oneida county, is closed. All taxes levied are collected, not later
than August of the next year thereafter, and the " committee on
rejected taxes " is abolished ; there is no duty for them to do.

The statute that did the work is as follows :

Laws of 1880, chap. 91, as amended by chap. 8, Laws of 1881.

AN ACT to enforce the collection of taxes levied In the county of Oneida.

Section 1. It shall not be the duty of the county treasurer of the county of
Oneida to transmit to the comptroller any amount of unpaid taxes assessed upon
corporations, or upon lauds of non-residents, or of unknown owners in said county,
or any treasurer's or collector's affidavit in relation thereto. Nor shall the comp-
troller credit the said county treasurer with any unpaid taxes on lands or corpora-
tions whether assessed to residents or as non-resident land, but the whole amount
of any State tax unpaid on property in the said county shall be paid by the county
treasurer to the treasurer of the State, on or before the first day of May after the
same shall have been assessed upon the real and personal estate of the .said county.

§ 2. If there are not sufficient funds then in the county treasury unappropriated
to pay such State tax, the county treasurer shall make provision for the payment
of the same by temporary loans upon the credit of the county, and charge the
same to the cities and towns in such amounts as they may respectively be deficient.

§ 3. The county treasurer shall examine the accounts of arrears of taxes received
from the collectors of the several towns and wards, and shall reject all taxes on
lands that shall be imperfectly described, and all taxes so erroneously assessed
in form or in substance that the collection of the same cannot be enforced; and
shall, within twenty days, deliver a transcript thereof to the supervisors of the
several towns and wards in which the property so rejected shall be located, and
said supervisors shall, within thirty days thereafter, cause a correct description of
the lands so imperfectly described to be made and returned to said treasurer. The
amount of taxes, fees and interest thereon as herein provided, upon any lands
rejected by the treasurer and returned to the respective supervisors, the proper
descriptions of which shall not be furnished on or before the first day of June
annually, shall be charged to the town or city where the same exists, and the board
of supervisors, at its next succeeding annual session, shall levy the amount thereof
upon such town or cities as deficiencies therein.

§ 4. No commission shall be allowed by the county treasurer upon taxes
returned to him uncollected by the collectors in the several towns and wards, but
such treasurer may add five per cent to the amount thereof, to be retained by
him as compensation for services imposed by this act.

§ 5. Whenever any tax charp^ed on real estate returned to the county treasurer.


and the interest at the rate of twelve per cent per annum to be computed from
the first day of March, when such tax was payable, together with the fees thereon,
shall remain unpaid for four mouths succeeding the said first of March, the county
treasurer shall proceed to advertise and sell such real estate in the manner herein
provided for the payment of such tax, fees and interest, and the expenses of pro-
curing description, publishing notices, and of conducting the sale, which shall be
a charge on the lands sold, and shall be added to the other charges thereon.
Should any errors be discovered in the description of the land so assessed and
taxed, the said treasurer may correct the same at any time previous to the sale.
In the event that the same laud shall be twice assessed and taxed, and the taxes
thereon once paid, the treasurer shall return one of such amounts to the board of
supervisors, who shall provide for the deficiency arising therefrom.

§ 6. The said county treasurer shall, immediately after the expiration of the
aforesaid four mouths, cause to be published once each week in two daily news-
papers of the city of Utica, and in two weekly papers of the city of Rome, for
six weeks, a list or statement of the real estate charged with such tax, fees and
interest, and so liable to be sold; and also a notice that the said real estate will,
on a day at the expiration of said six weeks to be specified in such notice and the
succeeding days, be sold at public auction at the court-houses in said county to
discharge the taxes, fees, interest and expenses aforesaid, which may be due
thereon at the time of sale. The sale of such lands so assessed in the towns of
Annsville, Ava, Camden, Florence, Floyd, Lee, Vernon, Verona, Vienna, Western,-
Westmoreland and the city of Romje shall be held at the court-house in the city
of Rome; and the sale of all such lands for the residue of the county shall be held
at the court-house in the city of Utica. On the day mentioned in the said notice,
the county treasurer shall commence the sale of such real estate, and he shall
continue the sale from day to day until such parcels shall be disposed of. In case
no bid to the extent of the tax and charges thereon shall be received for any piece
or lot of land so ofiEered, the said treasurer may purchase the same for, and in
behalf of the county of Oneida, and he may subsequently transfer the certificate
of the same to any person who will pay the amount chargeable thereon.

All lands purchased by the treasurer, for and in behalf of the county, the cer-
tificates of which are not sold and assigned within one year subsequent to the
last day of such annual sale, shall, with the interest thereon, be charged to the
respective towns and cities, the amounts thereof levied upon the taxable prop-
erty therein, and said certificates assigned to such towns and cities. If such cer-
tificates shall not be sold or redeemed subsequent to such assignment, such towns
or cities shall be entitled to a deed therefor, which shall have the same effect and
become absolute in the same manner, ou the performance of like conditions, as in
the case of sales to individuals. The charge for publishing the notices provided
in this section, to be mutually agreed upon, shall not exceed two dollars to each
newspaper for publishing the description of each piece of land contained in said
notices. If the daily papers shall decline to so publish the same, the treasurer
may cause such notices to be published in any other newspapers published in said

8 7. The purchasers at such sales shall pay the amount of their respective bids
to the county treasurer within forty-eight hours after the sale; and after such
payment shall have been made, the said treasurer shall give to the purchaser of
any such real estate a certificate describing the real estate purchased and the sum
paid, and such purchaser or his legal representatives or assigns may, immediately
upon receiving said certificate, by virtue thereof, and of this act, lawfully possess,
hold and enjoy for his and their own proper use, and for the use and benefit of
his and their heirs and assigns forever, the real estate described in said certifi-
cate, unless redeemed as hereinafter provided; and he may, at any time after the
time limited in the eighth section of this act, for the redemption of such premises,
shall have expired and said premises shall not have been redeemed as therein
provided, cause the occupant of such real estate to be removed therefrom, and
the possession thereof to be delivered to him in the same manner and by the same
proceedings, by and before the same officers, as in the case of a tenant holding
over after the expiration of his term without permission of his landlord.

§ 8. The owner of, or any person interested in, any real estate sold for taxes as
aforesaid, may redeem the same at any time within one year after the last day
of such sale, by paying to the said county treasurer, for the use of_ the purchaser,
his heirs and assigns, the sum meutioued in bis certificate and the interest thereon


290 SuPERVisoKs' Manual.

at the rate of twelve per cent per annum, to be computed from the date of such

i^ 9. If such real estate sold for taxes, or any portion thereof, be not redeemed
as "herein provided, the said treasurer shall execute to the purchaser, his heirs or
assigns, a conveyance of the real estate so sold which shall vest in the grantee an
absolute estate in fee. The said treasurer shall be entitled to demand and receive
from the purchaser one dollar for preparing such conveyance.

^ 10. Every such conveyance shall be executed by the treasurer of said county
of Oneida under his hand and seal, and the execution thereof shall be acknowl-
edged before a proper officer in the same manner as other conveyances of real
estate are executed and acknowledged under the laws of the State, and such con.
veyauce shall be conclusive evidence that the sale was regular, and also presump-
tive evidence that all the previous proceedings were regular according to the pro-
visions of this act.

S^ 11. Whenever any purchaser under such sale shall be unable to recover pos-
session of the real estate sold to him, by reason of any error or irregularity in the
assessment of any person or property, or in the levying of a tax, or in any pro-
ceedings for the collection of any tax, the board of supervisors of said county shall
reimburse the purchase-money and expenses so paid with interest, the same to be
presented and audited as other county charges, and by them to be charged to and
levied upon the cities or the town where the irregularity arises.

8 12. All powers which are conferred upon the comptroller of this State In re-
lation to the cancellation of a tax which shall have been paid to a collector; the
repayment of any tax paid more than once; the payment of a part of the tax on
land by any person claiming a part of such land; the redemption of land sold for
taxes by persons claiming an undivided share, or a specified part thereof; the
effect of such redemption reducing the land to be conveyed; the effectof any such
sale of land for taxes upon the lien of any mortgage thereon; the right of a mort-
gagee to redeem; the consequence of neglect to do so after notice, and the lien of
the mortgagee for the amount paid on such redemption; the authority to withhold
conveyances when it shall be discovered that any sale of land for taxes was inef-
fectual to convey a title, and to refund the purchase-money and interest to the
purchaser are hereby conferred, so far as relates to the county of Oneida, upon
the treasurer thereof.

§ 13. In every case where the collectors of the towns and wards in said county
shall have been discharged from liability on account of any uncollected taxes re-
turned by them to the said treasurer, the county treasurer may maintain an action
for the recovery of the amount so remaining unpaid and uncollected, with interest
at the rate of twelve per cent per annum, to be computed from the first day of
March when the said tax was payable, in his name of office, against the person,
firm or corporation liable for such tax, or the representative of such person, firm
or corporation, in any court of competent jurisdiction, in which the proceedings,
6osts, judgments and executions shall be the same, and with like effect, as in ac-
tions between other public officers and individuals; and the amount collected shall
be applied in the same manner as if paid to the county treasurer by the collectors
of said towns and wards. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to
repeal or abridge any powers now had by officers for the collection of taxes in
said towns and wards.

i; 14. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent or in conflict with this act, so tar
as the same do conflict, and relating to the county of Oneida, are hereby repealed.

§ 15. When any lot or piece of land sold for taxes by the treasurer shall, after
the expiration of six months from the last day of the annual sale therefor, be in
the actual occupation of any person as a residence, the purchaser, or the person
claiming under him, shall serve a written or printed notice on such occupant, or
by leaving such notice at the dwelling thereof with some person of suitable age,
or by affixing such notice upon the outer door of such dwelling, or if such land
shall not be occupied as aforesaid, such notice shall be published in one of the
newspapers in the city of Rome or the city of Utica, once each week for three
weeks; stating in substance the sale of such lands, the person to whom made, and
the amount for which the same was sold, and stating the time when the purchaser
thereof will be entitled to receive a deed, and stating also that unless the said
amount and the interest thereon is paid to the county treasurer within one year
from the last day of such annual sale, the same will become absolute, and the
owner or other persons interested in said lands will be forever barred from all

Of the Assessment and Collection of Taxes. 291

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 31 of 96)