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and unauthorized. Cromwell v. MacLean, 123 N. Y. 474; S. C., 34 N. Y. St. Repr. 85 (1890).
Where the assessment-roll described real estate as fronting on a certain street, but gave no definite courses for the remaining sides of the lot, nor other means of identification, nor any lines by which it could be inclosed →→ held that it was fatally defective. Matter of New York Central, etc., R. R. Co., 90 N. Y. 342 (1882).
When part of a taxpayer's property is exempt and part is taxable, the assessors act judicially in determining the portion to be taxed. Matter of Peek, 80 Hun, 122; S. C., 61 N. Y. St. Repr. 502; 30 N. Y. Supp. 59 (1894). Therefore, assessors having jurisdiction of the subject-matter and of the person of the taxpayer, their judgment of the value of the property cannot be attacked in a collateral proceeding.
In an action to recover land where defendant was in possession under leases by the supervisor of the town, it appeared that they had been conveyed to plaintiff's husband and through him to her, and they were assessed to him who was not occupant and he had previously paid the taxes,- Held, that he being neither owner nor occupant, the assessment was void, and plaintiff was not estopped from the fact that her husband had sent for and paid the taxes as her agent, and had never informed the assessors of the transfer to her from recovering in the action. Parsons v. Parker, 80 Hun, 281; S. C., 61 N. Y. St. Repr. 847; 30 N. Y. Supp. 134 (1834).
3. In the third column the full value of such real property.
All the proceedings prescribed by statute for the assessment of land for taxation must be substantially, if not strictly, complied with, and steps which the legislature has directed to be taken cannot be regarded as immaterial. May v. Traphagen, 139 N. Y. 478; S. C., 54 N. Y. St. Repr. 726 (1893); People ex rel. Buffalo R. R. v. Fredericks, 48 Barb. 176 (1866); People ex rel. Supervisors of Westchester v. Fowler, 55 N. Y. 252 (1873); People ex rel. Wil ́ams v. Commrs. Taxes of Albany, 2 Hun, 587 (1874); People ex rel. Gallatin Nat. Bk. v. Commrs. Taxes, 67 N. Y. 520 (1876); S. C., 4 Otto, 415 (1876); People ex rel. Rome, Watertown, etc., R. R. v. Dixon, 8 Hun, 173 (1876).
In Albany & Schenectady R. R. Co. v. Osborn, 12 Barb. 223 (1851), it was held that the real estate of railroads is to be appraised in the same manner as the adjacent lands belonging to individuals, and without reference to the other parts of the railway, without the town in which it is assessed, and irrespective of whether it is profitable to the stockholders or not.
Valuation of assessors acting within their jurisdiction is conclusive in the absence of fraud. Albany & West Stockbridge R. R. Co. v. Canaan, 16 Barb. 244 (1853).
Assessors are to estimate that section of a railroad which passes through a town at its true and full value without regard to the market price of its shares, or the productiveness of its business. Id.
A railroad built over the lands of Indians according to Laws 1836, chap. 316, under a contract giving the right of use without limitation as to time, is liable to assessment, as real estate of the railroad company.
The exemption of the Indian reservation from taxation ceases to the extent of the right granted to the railroad company. People ex rel. Erie Ry. Co. v. Beardsley, 52 Barb. 105 (1868); affirmed in 41 N. Y. 619.
The real estate of a railroad company is to be assessed in connection with its position and the business or profit to be derived therefrom, not as isolated from the rest of the road. People ex rel. Buffalo & State Line R. R. Co. v. Barker, 48 N. Y. 70 (1871); People ex rel. Buffalo & State Line R. R. Co. v. Fredericks, 48 Barb. 173 (1866); overruling in effect Albany & Schenectady R. R. Co. v. Owen, 12 id. 223 (1851).
It is not the duty of assessors in fixing the tax to be laid on the real estate of a railroad company in a town away from its principal place of business to enter on the roll the amount of the capital stock. They should enter the quantity of such real estate within their jurisdiction, and assess it as they do that of individuals. People ex rel. Buffalo & State Line R. R. Co. v. Barker, 48 N. Y. 70 (1871).
The assessment of the part of a canal within a town should be upon its estimated value as a part of one continuous way. People ex rel. Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. v. Keator, 2 How. Pr. (N. S.) 479 (1885).
Assessors are not bound by proof produced before them as to value, but must exercise their judgment notwithstanding such proof. People ex rel. Westbrook v. Village of Ogdensburgh, 48 N. Y. 390 (1872).
That the value of the land over which a railroad runs should be determined mainly by the productiveness of its use, rather than by its cost. People ex rel. Ogdensburgh, etc., R. R. Co. v. Pond, 13 Abb. N. C. 1; affirmed in 92 N. Y. 643.
A party assailing the validity of an assessment should make it conclusively appear that the method by which the assessors arrived at the result complained of was incorrect, and that the assessment does represent the fair value of the property assessed. People ex rel. Westchester Fire Ins. Co. v. Davenport, 91 N. Y. 574 (1883).
In ascertaining the full value of business property, its cost may be considered, but the more controlling consideration is its earning capacity. People ex rel. Albany, etc., Bridge Co. v. Weaver, 34 Hun, 322; affirming 62 How. Pr. 477 (1884).
In determining the value of canal property - held, that earning capacity should be the principal test. People ex rel. Delaware, etc., Canal Co. v. Roosa, 2 How. Pr. (N. S.) 454 (1885).
In the following case it was held that the assessors could only, under the peculiar circumstances, assess the property with reference to its intrinsic value. People ex rel. N. Y., West Shore & B. R. R. Co. v. Toohey, 4 N. Y. St. Repr. 895 (1886).
In reviewing upon certiorari under Laws 1880, chap. 269, an assessment by town assessors against a railroad company for its main track, the
Special Term based its estimate upon the average net earnings per year for the previous five years. The net earnings were capitalized at five per cent., and divided by the number of miles of main track to obtain the value per mile. Held, that, in the absence of evidence of undeveloped facilities to increase the estimate of present value, and of evidence of mismanagement tending to show that the earnings did not represent the earning capacity, or that the results of the five years did not fairly indicate the company's present financial importance, the method was not erroneous, and the conclusion on the question of fact as to valuation should be sustained. People ex rel. Rome, etc., R. R. Co. v. Hicks, 40 Hun, 598 (1886); Same v. Eddy, id.; Same v. Bancroft, id. See, also, People ex rel. Rome, W. & O. R. R. Co. v. Smoyer, 24 W. Dig. 195 (1886).
In ascertaining the net earnings the Special Term deducted from the gross earnings: 1. The net earnings of its freight cars on other roads. 2. The value of the use of its freight cars on its own road at the same rate. 3. The amount received from rentals of its real property not used in its business. 4. Interest at the rate of five per cent. on the value of its side tracks. 5. Interest upon the value of its coaches and cars other than freight cars. 6. Interest upon the value of its locomotives. 7. Interest upon the value of its depots, docks, sheds and lands outside of the main track, not rented but used in its business; treating the residue as the net earnings of the main track. Held, not an erroneous method. Id.
The rental paid for leased branches exceeded their net earnings, and the relator contended that the number of miles of these branches should be added to the length of the main line in making up the divisor of the net earnings to ascertain the value per mile. Held, that the Special Term did not err in dividing the net earnings by the number of miles of main track less the length of the leased branches. Id.
4. In the fourth column the full value of all the taxable personal property owned by each person respectively after deducting the just debts owing by him.
Sections 34 and 2, subdivision 4, of the Tax Law, require certain debts to nonresidents to be assessed in the tax districts.
The determination of the assessors is not conclusive as to the residence of an owner of personal property. Paddock v. Guydel, 29 N. Y. St. Repr. 773; S. C., 8 N. Y. Supp. 905 (1890).
Assessors have no jurisdiction to assess a person for the personal estate owned by him, unless he be a resident of the town of which the, are officers, and if they do, they are personally liable to the party assessed for the damage sustained by him therefrom, although the question of his residence may be fairly doubted upon the facts before the assessors. Dorwin v. Strickland, 57 N. Y. 492 (1874).
An action for damages will not lie against assessors at the instance of a taxpayer for a wrongful entry of the value of property, the doter
mination as to value being a judicial act, the completion of which is the entry. Youmans v. Simmons, 7 Hun, 466 (1876).
Assessors have no jurisdiction to assess a person for his personal estate, where he is not a resident of their town at the time when the assessment is made. People ex rel. Mygatt v. Supervisors of Chenango, 11 N. Y. 563 (1854).
Assessors who enter upon their assessment-roll, as liable to be taxed for personal property, the name of a person not a resident of their town or ward at the time the assessment is made, act without jurisdiction and are liable for the damages resulting from the collection of a tax founded upon such entry. Mygatt v. Washburn, 15 N. Y. 316 (1857).
The assessment of bank shares returned by the bank to the assessors in the name of the former owner, then deceased, is invalid. People ex rel. Schaeffler v. Barker, 87 Hun, 194; S. C., 67 N. Y. St. Repr. 728; 33 N. Y. Supp. 1042 (1895).
Just debts are to be deducted in the assessment of personalty. Id.
Purchase of merchandise which was never even in the possession of the seller, the difference in the market price merely being settled, does not create an indebtedness which is to be considered in determining the amount of taxable property owned by the purchaser. People v. Coleman, 41 N. Y. St. Repr. 160; S. C., 16 N. Y. Supp. 330 (1891).
It is not enough for a taxpayer to show that some property in the town is assessed at a lower rate than his in order to obtain a review of his assessment on certiorari, under Laws 1880, chap. 269, but he must establish that his property is assessed at a higher proportionate rate than property generally in the town. People ex rel. Allen v. Badgley, 138 N. Y. 314; S. C., 52 N. Y. St. Repr. 348; reversing 67 Hun, 65; S. C., 51 N. Y. St. Repr. 410; 22 N. Y. Supp. 26 (1893).
Where evidence adduced before assessors as to personal property of a taxpayer stands uncontradicted, they cannot disregard it in fixing the assessment. People ex rel. v. Dykes, 45 N. Y. St. Repr. 621; S. C., 19 N. Y. Supp. 78 (1892). So held, where assessors required the personal attendance of a taxpayer and refused to take evidence offered in his absence. Id.
The omission of property liable to assessment for taxes from the roll does not invalidate it, nor support an action by a person whose property is taxed upon it to have the tax set aside as illegal, since the assessors act judicially. Van Derventer v. Long Island City, 139 N. Y. 133; S. C., 54 N. Y. St. Repr. 510 (1893). Otherwise, it seems, in the case of assessments for local improvements, in which case the officials act as agents of the property owner. Id.
5. In the fifth column the value of taxable rents reserved and chargeable upon lands within the tax district, estimated at a principal sum, the interest of which, at the legal rate per annum, shall produce a sum equal to such annual rents, and if payable
in any other thing except money, the value of the rents in money to be ascertained by them and the value of each rent assessed separately, and if the name of the person entitled to receive the rent assessed can not be ascertained by the assessors, it shall be assessed against the tenant in possession of the real property upon which the rents are chargeable.
[Revisers' Note.- R. S., pt. 1, chap. 13, tit. II, §§ 9, 17; 8th ed., 1096, as amended by
L. 1892, chap. 202, § 1; 8th ed., supp., 3250,
L. 1885, chap. 411, § 4; R. S., 8th ed., 1101, as amended by
L. 1892, chap. 202, § 2; R. S., 8th ed., supp., 3251,
L. 1846, chap. 327, § 1; R. S., 8th ed., 1106.
No change is effected by this section.
Subdivision 5 is from L. 1846, chap. 327, § 1. Section 8 of this chapter prescribes what rents are taxable, following L. 1846, chap. 327, § 1, without change.]
For form of roll, see Form, No. 5. See, also, Form, No. 10.
For what rents are taxable, see § 8 of the Tax Law.
The omission of the headings of the columns of the assessment-roll does not invalidate the assessment. Litchfield v. Brooklyn, 13 Misc. 693; S. C., 69 N. Y. St. Repr. 171; 34 N. Y. Supp. 1090 (1895).
As an assessment is in the nature of a judgment, it is presumed to be correct until the contrary is shown. But if it appears that it is based upon an erroneous principle, like a wrong application of the law, the assessors' determination cannot be upheld. People ex rel. Thompson v. McComber, 24 N. Y. St. Repr. 902; S. C., 7 N. Y. Supp. 71 (1889).
§ 22. Assessment of state lands in forest preserve.- All wild or forest lands within the forest preserve shall be assessed and taxed at a like valuation and rate as similar lands of individuals within the counties where situated. On or before August first in every year the assessors of the town within which the lands so belonging to the state are situated shall file in the office of the comptroller and of the board of fisheries, game and forest, a copy of the assessment-roll of the town, which, in addition to the other matter now required by law, shall state and specify which and how much, if any, of the lands assessed are forest lands, and which and how much, if any, are lands belonging to the state; such statements and specifications to be verified by the oaths of a majority of the assessors. The comptroller shall thereupon and before the first day of September following, and after hearing the assessors and the board of fisheries, game and forest, if they or any of them so desire, correct or reduce any assessment of