Utility property located in the public right of way is subject to a special franchise assessment. The annual assessment of special franchise is the responsibility of the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), Valuation Services Bureau (VSB). The assessment process requires the acquisition of valuation data principally from the owners of the franchises, assessors and regulatory agencies; organization and analysis of those data; and evaluation of the special franchises from the information so processed.
A special franchise full value/assessment is prepared each year for each company in each city, town and village where the properties are located. Upon approval of the tentative assessment/full value, notice is transmitted to the appropriate municipality and special franchise owner, both of which then have an opportunity to object to the tentative assessment or full value by serving a complaint on the Commissioner. Complaints are filed using form RP-7141 or RP-7142, which can be found here.
After consideration of the complaint and supporting objections, VSB and Counsel's office in the case of questions of law, recommends to the State Board of Real Property Tax Services either that the assessment/full value remain unchanged or that an appropriate change be made. The State Board then determines the final assessments/full values. After the Board makes its determination(s), certificates setting forth the full or assessed values are transmitted to the appropriate municipalities for the use on their assessment rolls and to the respective owners of the franchises.