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Department of Taxation and Finance

Volume 7 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 49

Opinions of Counsel index

Board of assessment review (powers and duties) (delivery of verified list of changes); Correction of errors (clerical error) (non-delivery of verified list of changes) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 550, 1524):

Where a board of assessment review, upon complaint, changes one or more assessments and so notifies the property owner(s), but fails to deliver the list of changes to the assessor, there is a “clerical error” which may be corrected pursuant to title 3 of Article 5 of the Real Property Tax Law.

A town’s board of assessment review agreed to reduce the assessments of three properties and so notified the property owners, but failed to deliver the list of changes to the assessor (see, Real Property Tax Law, § 1524(2)(c)). The final assessment roll, therefore, did not reflect these determinations of the board of assessment review, and the aggrieved property owners are seeking an “adjustment”.

Pursuant to paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 1524 of the Real Property Tax Law, the board of assessment review is to determine the final assessment of each property for which it has received a complaint. Having done so, the board must prepare and verify a statement showing the changes it has determined should be made in the assessments. The verified statement is to be delivered to the assessor on or before the date required by law for the completion of the final assessment roll. On or before the date the statement is delivered to the assessor, the board must notify each complainant of the board’s determination. In this case, the board did notify the property owners, but failed to properly deliver the list of changes to the assessor.

Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 550 defines a “clerical error” as an incorrect entry of assessed value on an assessment roll or a tax roll which, because of a mistake in transcription, does not conform to the final verified statement of the board of assessment review. It is our opinion that on the facts presented, a “clerical error” within the meaning of section 550(2)(a) has occurred, and the administrative process provided therein for the correction of assessment rolls and tax rolls may be utilized to correct the error.

October 9, 1979