George Crane Morehouse.

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decline, omit, resign, or be unable from any cause to discharge the duties thereof,
the vacancy shall be filled in the manner provided by section two hereof imme-
diately upon the announcement of such vacancy.

§ 9. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent or in conflict with the provisions of
this act, so far as the same are applicable to the county of Oneida, are hereby
repealed.

This law has been in successful operation and effect for eight consecutive years
without controversies, material friction or irritation.

The report of the board of equalization upon the subject is final and conclusive,
and thus far in its history, with two exceptions, it has received the signatures of



326 SuPBEvisoBs' Manual.

its nine members, and the board of supervisors have uniformly and unanimoudy
approved their action and conclusions. Previous to its passage the county had
annual appeals to the State board, involving controversies most bitter, and ex-
penses equally exhaustive.

No one, having any knowledge of, or practical experience with, this subject,
would deny that equalization by the board of supervisors is the cause of more
annoyance, friction and trouble than any other matter which comes before them.
It seems to enter into about every important question dealt with by the board,
from its first meeting to its final adjournment; is the source and cause of unjust
and partisan action on other subjects and almost invariably results in the forma-
tion of a clique, the object of which is to shift the burden of taxation, from them-
selves to others. Perhaps such an object may be very agreeable when one is
"in," but it is not so pleasant when one is "out." Whatever may finally be
decided upon as the best method of equalization, one thing seems certain, that
equalization by the board of supervisors, or its committee, is not an approxima-
tion, even, to a good one and has, so far, proved a failure, as an examination of
the Journal of Proceedings of the different county boards and the bitter litigations
in Erie, Lewis, Chenango, Ulster and other counties would demonstrate.

Boards of supervisors have a sufficient number of difficult and perplexing
questions to deal with, without being called on to decide that of equalization,
which would seem to require men who have given to that subject sufficient time,
study and attention to know their duties, who are not obliged to consider, or act
upon other questions constantly arising during a busy session, who are of ap-
proved integrity, non-partisan in number, and independent of any other body.

For such an equalization board, one would be glad to destroy the so-called sym-
metry and uniformity of existing laws upon this subject, and submit to a local
arrangement that confessedly produces perfect results.

The following is the form of report as made by this board of equalization in
pursuance of the law quoted. No concurrence or confirmation by the board of
supervisors is requisite, the action of the first board being "final "

In the other counties, the report of the committee upon this subject, is a re-
commendation only, to be concurred in by the board of supervisors, and the form
of their report should be varied and prepared accordingly, The tabulated por-
tion of the form will apply to all counties,

§420. Form of Report.

REPORT OF BOARD OF EQUALIZATION.

To THE Board of Supervisors of the County op Oneida:

The committee created by your body for the purpose (in pursuance of chapter
673, Laws of 1881), having examined and compared the assessed valuations of real
estate in this county for the current year, have established, fixed and equalized
the same in the several towns and cities, as contained in the following tabulated
statement thereof.



Equalization.



327



TOWNS.


No. of acres


Real estate by
assessors


Real estate ai
equalized


Personal


Total.


AnasviUe


36.152

16,617

22,ri6

43-529

14, 6ae

32,185

22,392

32.319 7-16

20,8gi

41.47s

19.780 1-2

28.208

18,956 1-4

19,388

23,566

43.801 15-100
17.503 3-4
25.782 3-4
27.677 1-2


$570,418 00

818,845 00

276,100 00

998,160 00

654.445 00

1,072,288 00

881.852 00

282,810 00

573,607 00

74.683 58

1,834.025 00

647, 395 00

729,126 00

1,034.420 00

2,002,892 00

1.450.350 00

411,421 CO

6,612.653 00

1.532.953 00

464.571 00

1.003,830 00

15.939.471 00

1.076,353 00

1,825.800 00

415,920 00

764.870 00

1.351,800 00

2.828.305 00


$570,418 00

818,845 00

266,100 00

998,160 00

654,445 00

1.007,388 00

926,853 00

288,810 00

521,607 00

74,683 58

1,834,025 00

647.395 00

719.126 00

1,126,420 00

1,827,892 00

'? 287,350 00

416,421 00

5,762,653 00

1,347.953 00

474.571 00

1,008,830 00

17.351.471 00

1,141,353 00

1,885.800 00

415,920 00

764,870 00

1,201,800 00

2,788,305 00


$13,700 00
108,650 00

6,775 00
127,040 00
41.705 00

170,970 CO

3,000 00

3,400 00

32,827 00

550 00

43.400 00

15.550 00

18,880 00

' 44.700 00

293-950 00

213,200 GO
54,340 00
581,753 20
169.227 00
10,420 00
67,530 00

2.446,734 00
160,497 00
63,530 00
12.700 00
49.200 00
47,900 00
191,300 00


$584,118 00
927.495 00
272,875 00

1,125,200 00
696,150 00

X, 178,258 00

929,852 00

292.210 00

554.434 00

75.233 58

1,877,425 00

662,945 00

738,006 00

1.171,120 00

2,121,842 00

1,500,550 00

470,761 00

6,344,406 20

1,517,180 00
484,991 00.

1,076,360 00
19, 798, 205 00
1,301.850 00

1)949.330 00

428,620 00

814,070 00

1,249,700 00

2,979,605 00




Roonvilte

Bndgewater

Camden

Deerfield




Floyd ,


Foreslport,

Kirkland

Lee


Marshall

New Hartford

Pans

Remsen

Rome . .

Sangerfield


Trenton

Ulica




23.916

42.142
37.698
33,306
25.574
16.210


Verona


Vienna

Western

Westmoreland
Whitesiown




721,870 1-2


$48,129 363 58


$48,129,363 58


$4,993,428 20


$53,122 791 78



All of wUicli is respectfully submitted.

' EVAN J. EVANS, E. S WILLIAMS,

D. A. CRANE, J. W. COOK,

PHILIP MILLER, S. M. SMITH,

T. S. GEARY, JAMES G. PRESTON,

WILLIAM BRILL.
Board op Equalization in and for said Countt.
Dtica, December 4, 1885.

TABLE PREPARED BY THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, 1885.



TOWNS



Real estate by-
assessors, 1885.



Annsville

Augusta

Ava

Boonville

Bndgewater....

Camden

Deerfield

Kloreace

Floyd

Forestport

Kirkland

Lee

Maroy

Marshall

New Hartford..

Paris

Rome

Remsen

Sangerfield.. ..

Steuben

Trenton

Utica

Vernon

Verona

Vienna

Western

Westmoreland .
Whitestown , . . .



J57'
818,
276
998,
654

1,072,



' 2B2

573:

74:

1.834:

647:

729

i,°34

2,002

1.450
6,612

411
1,53=

464
1,003

15,939
1,076
1,825

764
1 1351
3,838



418 00
,845 00
100 CO
160 00

445 0°

288 CO
,852 00
,8iD 00
,607 00
,683 58
,025 00
, 395 00
,126 00
,420 00
,829 CO
1 350 00
,653 00
,421 00
.953 00
.571 00
,830 00

471 00
j3S3 00
,800 CO
^920 CO
,870 00

800 00

305 00



Incorporated
property .



$38,478

■5, 5°o

38s

109,100

51.41S

"5. 950

S.020

280

66a



Village
property.



221,850



101,836
69,000

497.490

228,980

1,415,528

33. 829

72.275

27, 291

101,980

3,072,816

140,500

698,200

66,970



118,950
'.075,230



866,730
172,745
9.995
348,350
72,020
363.453
123.545

20,0IC

12,890

16,420

434.250

79.09s

6,350

93.440

394,002

171,300

3,829,100

58,220

558.365

6,410

153.570



"8,550
ZO4, 840
48,020
64,460
82,300
547.440



Equalized
valuation.



$570,418

818,845

266,100

998,160

654 445

1,007 28S

926, 853

288,81a

521,607

74.683

1.834,825

647.395

719,120

1,126,430

1,827,839

" .287,350

5,762,653

416,421

1,347.953

474.571

1,008,830

17,351,47'

I,I4«,353

1,885,800

415.920

764 , 870

1,201,800

2,788,303



E. J. EVANS, Chairman.



328 Supervisors' Manual.

§421. Appeal From Equalization by Super-
T'isOX*. — Any supervisor may appeal in behalf of the town, city
or ward which he wholly or in part represents, to the State assessors,
from any act or decision of the board of supervisors in the equaliza-
tion of assessments, and the correction of the assessment-rolls, under
the provisions of the first title of chapter thirteen of the first part of
the Revised Statutes. Such appeal shall be brought by serving a
notice thereof, within ten days after the corrected assessment-rolls
shall be completed by the board of supervisors or the chairman and
clerk of said board, and also filing such notice in the office of the
clerk of the county, together with the affidavit of the supervisor so
appealing, that, in his opinion, injustice has been done to such town,
city, or ward, by the act or decision appealed from, and a notice of
such appeal shall be served on the State assessors by filing the same
in the office of the secretary of State within ten days after the final
completion of the corrected assessment-rolls by the board of 8upe^
visors, and such notice shall also be served on the chairman of said
board of supervisors within the same time.

Laws of 1859, chap. 812, § 13; Laws of 1874, chap. 351, 9 S, as amended br Laws
of 1880, chap. 80; 2 R. S. 1001, 1004.

See forms below.

Under the petition of the relator, as supervisor of the town of Ontario, alleging
that the defendant, the board of supervisors of the county of Wayne, had adopted
an erroneous method in equalizing the assessments made by the assessors of the
several towns of the county, and that the result was prejudicial to his town, a
writ of certiorari was issued to review the proceedings of the board.

Held, that the writ should he quashed, as the relator might have appealed from
the equalization, in behalf of his town, to the State assessors, and upon such ap-
peal have obtained a decision whether or not injustice had been done to the town,
and if there had been, have had the requisite correction made.

That the provision of section 2122 of the Code of Civil Procedure, declaring
that, except as otherwise expressly prescribed by statute, » writ of certiorari can-
not be issued ' ' where the determination can be adequately revie wed by an appeal
to a court, or to some other body or oflBcer," did not violate the provision of the
Constitution (art. 6, § 6), that ' ' there shall be the existing Sup reme Court with
general jurisdiction in law and equity," nor deprive the relator of any right which
he had to prosecute his remedy by "the law of the laud," but simply denied to
him the right to demand the exercise of the discretion of the court in issuing a
writ of certiorari on his application when he had an adequate remedy by appeal.

It appeared that the equalization sought to be reviewed was produced by the
adoption and use of a table of decimals, one for each town, which represented the
percentage of the aggregate assessed valuations with which the towns, respect-
ively, were charged in the equalization as made, and that, in their application
and use by the defendant of those factors, the assessed valuations of the personal
as well as of the real estate were included, by which means the valuations, in the
respestive towns, of the personal property, as they appeared in the assessment- rolls,
were modified, and for some of the towns increased and for others diminished, hut
the aggregate valuations of the real and personal estate of all the towns remained
the same as that of the assessed valuations.

Held, that this method was clearly irregular and erroneous for the reason that
the board of supervisors, in making the equalization, lawfully had nothing to do
with the assessed valuations of personal property other than to continue them as
made by the assessors of the respective towns.



Equalization. 329

That while the equalization rests wholly in the judgment of the board of super-
visors, and the results must depend upon the action of a majority, when all the
members do not concur, the error in the manner of doing it is not simply one of
judgment, where the proceeding is in evident violation of the statute, as was that
under consideration; nor was it justified by the recognized use of that method in
the county of Wayne for several years preceding that in question; nor is the prin-
ciple of estoppel applicable to the action in that respect of any supervisor as the
representative of his town.

People, ex rel. Hill, v. Supervisors, 49 Hun, 476.

§ 422. Proofs Tbereon. — The State assessors shall liear
the proofs of the parties which may be presented in the form of
affidavit or otherwise, as they shall direct ; after hearing such proofs
they shall determine whether any, and if any, what deduction ought
to have been made from the corrected valuations of such town, city
or ward ; and in the assessment and collection of taxes of the next
following year, such town or city shall be credited with the amount
of taxes levied from it on such excess of valuation, and the same
shall be levied and collected from the other towns and cities of
the county.

Id.
See Nature of Evidence, post, 423, and decisions thereunder.

The State assessors shall have power to subpoena witnesses and to
compel their attendance and to examine them under oath in the
same manner as though such subpoena had issued from a court of
record of this State, and all State, county, city and town officers
shall furnish them with all information belonging to or connected
with their respective offices and copies of all papers in their various
offices which the assessors may require of them in the proper dis-
charge of their duties. '

ws of 1859, chap. S12, 1 4, as amended by Laws of 1834, cbap. 435.

§ 423. Nature of Evidence — State Assessors

to Determine Appeals.— On every such heanng or trial,
the evidence shall in part relate to the assessment and full and true
value of real and personal property, and the said State assessors shall
determine whether or not injustice has been done to the town, ward or
city, so appealing, in the equalization of real and personal property
assessed therein, as compared with the other wards, towns or cities of
said county, and shall determine whether any, and if any, what deduc-
tions ought to be made from the aggregate corrected valuation of said
real and personal property, as made by the said board of supervisors,
and shall also determine to what town or towns, ward or wards, city
or cities, in such county, said deductions, if any, shall be added, and
42



330 SupEBVisoKs' Manual.

shall certify their deterininatioD in writing to said board of super-
visors and forward the same by mail within ten days thereafter, to
the clerk of said board of supervisors, directed to him at his post-
offioe address.

Laws of 1876, chap. 49, ! S ; 2 R. S. 1005.

Under this act it is held that the State assessors are authorized and it Is their
duty, upon appeal, to determine

1st, Whether the town appealing has suffered injustice as compared with other
towns in the county.

3d. Whether such town shall have a deduction from its valuation and the amount
thereof

3d. Upon what other town or towns such deductions shall be placed and the
portion thereof which shall be placed on each.

People, exnl Bd. of Suprs. of Westchester Co., v Hadley, 76 N. Y. S87.

The comparison is not between the town appealing and the residue of the county
as an entirety, but between it and the other towns as distinct and separate organi-
zations.

Id

It is essential that said assessors shall take into consideration the valuation of
all the towns in the county separately, and if they find injustice has been done to
the appealing town by an excessive valuation as compared with some of the
towns, they may remedy it by thus placing the excess upon those towns, and
this although other towns which havenot appealed, have suffered alike injustice;
for the purpose of correcting the injustice complained of these towns cannot be
regarded.

Id.

The State assessors are not required upon such an appeal to talis testimony as
to the amount and value of the personal property in the towns.

As a board of supervisors in making equalization are confined to the valuation
of real estate, the State assessors have no authority beyond tliis.

Id.

It is not an available objection where the decision of the State assessors was
forwarded by mail in due season, that it was not filed with the clerk of the board
of supervisors before the beginning of the next annual meeting.

Id.

When such decision was certified and forwarded by mail to the board of super-
visors, withm ten days after it was made and signed by the State assessors, but
not until after the commencement of the next annnal session, and the board
omitted to carry the decision into effect, held that a mandcmms would lie to com-
pel the execution of such decision.

People, ex rei. Robison, v. Bd. of Suprs. of Ontano Co., 85 V. Y. 328.

The court cannot on certiorari review the rulings of the body or ofiBcer in ad-
mitting or rejecting evidence.

An order made by the State assessors In a county other than that in which ap-
peal originated in respect to certain documentary evidence and the time within
which it should be produced, is not such a part of the trial as to violate section 2
of chapter 49, Laws of 1876.

Section 3 of that act does not prohibit the board from taking evidence as to
the value of real estate aliunde the assessor's valuation, nor an inquiry into the
value of personal property.

People, « ret., , . The Board of State Assessors, 22 N. Y. W. Dig. 468.



Equalization 331

§ 424. Appeal, Where Heard.— Every each appeal
duly brought shall be heard by said board in the county in which
such appeal originated, at a time and place to be fixed by said board,
and they shall notify the supervisor of the town, ward or city ap-
pealing, by mail, of the time and place so fixed upon, at least twenty
days prior thereto. In case the appellant or his successor fails to
appear and produce evidence to sustain the appeal, at the time and
place appointed, or on the day to which such hearing or trial shall
have been adjourned, if an adjournment shall have been had, said
State assessors shall make an order dismissing said appeal as not
sustained, which shall have the same effect, in all respects, as if said
appeal had not been sustained after a trial or hearing on the merits
on evidence.

Laws of 1876, chap. 49, § 2 ; 2 R. S. 1004.
See Decisions under g 423.

§ 425. Costs on Appeal. — Whenever any appeal so made
shall not be sustained, the State assessors shall certify the reasonable
costs and expenses arising therefrom and connected therewith on the
part of the respondent and appellant, and such costs and expenses
so certified shall be a charge upon the town, city or ward whose ap-
peal is not sustained, which shall be audited by the board of super-
visors, and levied upon the taxable property of said town, city or ward ;
and whenever any appeal so made shall be sustained, the State as-
sessors shall certify the reasonable costs and expenses arising there-
from and connected therewith, on the part of the appellant and
respondent, and such amounts so certified shall be audited by the
board of supervisors and levied and collected from all the towns and
cities of the county in the assessment and collection of taxes for the
current year, excepting those towns and cities in which such appeal
was sustained; and whenever more than one town or city in a
county shall have appealed, some of which are sustained and some
dismissed, it shall be the duty of the State assessors to decide what
portion of the costs and expenses shall be borne by the town or
towns, city or cities in which such appeal was dismissed.

Chap. 312, Laws of 1859, § 15, as amended by Laws of 1884, chap. 435.
Stenograsher's fees part of the costs.
Laws of 1884, chap. 280.

By the rules of the State assessors the amount of costs and expenses is limited
fo $2,000.

See "Rule 10," below.



332 SUPBEVISORS' MaKUAL.

The statute seems to limit the amount of costs and expenses which the board
of supervisors can audit against the defeated party to the amount certified by the
State assessor. So that the case of The People, ex rd. Burhans, v. SupervisorB,
will not now apply.
32 Hud, 607.

At a meeting of the board of supervisors of the county of U., bills of expenses,
duly verified, incurred by it in equalization proceedings, were presented. The
supervisors and counsel of the city of K., the party appealing, had notice as early
as November thirteenth of the amount of expenses claimed to have been incurred
by the board. On November twenty-first, the board, then in session, appointed
a committee to examine the bills and report thereon. On December first the coun-
sel for the city notified the committee that the city desired to be heard. On De-
cember third, the committee made a report to the board, and upon its being read,
the supervisors of the city requested that consideration thereof be postponed until
the next day in order to give them time to examine the bills and present objec-
tions ; the board, however, proceeded to act upon the report and made the audit,
no specific objections being made by the city supervisors to any of the items ; it
was the practice of the board to adjourn on the fifth. In proceedings by man-
damus to compel the common council of the city to levy and collect the sum au-
dited, hdd, that under the circumstances disclosed, no legal right of the city was
invaded by the denial of the application for delay.

Also, held, that the board of supervisors had such an interest in enforcing the
collection of the costs that it could authorize the proceedings ; that the expenses,
when incurred, were in the first instance, on its credit, and so were county charges,
it simply having a remedy over against the city in case the latter failed on its
appeal .

The board passed a resolution on December fourth, authorizing the employment
of counsel named, "in all matters of litigation" growing out of the equaliza-
tion, and authorizing him "to take all necessary and proper proceedings in the
name of the board." Subsequently a committee of its members was appointed
with full power to do all things necessary in the litigation. HdA, that ample
authority was thus conferred to institute the proceedings.

The charter of the city provides a special system for the collection of taxes
therein. It was objected that the charge against the city could not be enforced,
Eeld, untenable ; that the direction in the act of 1873 (chapter 327, Laws of 1873),
requiring the sum audited by the board of supervisors to be "levied upon the
taxable propeity in said * * * city," is to be carried out by causing the same
to be levied in the usual way provided for levying and collecting taxes in the city.

People, ex rel. Board of Supervisors, v. The Common Council of the (Mty of Kings-
ton, 101 N. Y. 82.

Laws N. Y. 1884, chap. 435, which provides that, on the decision of an appeal from the
equalization of the board of county supervisors, the State assessors shall certify the reason-
able costs and expenses, to be paid by the losing party, does not deprive attorneys who
have resisted such an appeal on behalf of the supervisors from recovering the agreed com-
pensation for their services, though such compensation exceed the amount certified for
their services by the State assessors .

Where the supervisors refuse to audit the bill for such compensation for want of authority
under said statute, mandamva will lie to compel them to do so .
People, ex rel. Anihal, v. Sup., 6 N. Y. Supp. 591.

§ 426. Procedure on Appeal. — The State assessors are
empowered, subject to the approval of the comptroller, to prepare
forms of petition and notice of appeal, rules and regulations in rela-
tion to bringing such appeals, and the hearing or trial.

Laws of 1876, chap. 49, § 1 .
The following are the forms and rules prescribed:

^2T. Form of Notice of Appeal and Affidavit.

To THE Board of Supervisors of the Coontt of

Gentlemen — Take notioajhat, as supervisor of the town of ,

I hereby appeal to the StaWassessors of the State of New York, in behalf of said town,
from the act or decision of the board of supervisors of said county of in the

equalization of assessments and correction of the assessment-rolls of the different towns in
said county, made on the day of A D 18

Dated , A. D. 18 .



Equalization'. 333



STATE OP NEW YORK, )



County,



,. . ., , in said county of , being duly sworn, deposes

and says he is the supervisor of the town of , and in his opinion in-



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 36 of 96)