City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[L.L. No. 4-1974[1]]
There shall be a Bureau of Assessment, the head of which shall be the City Assessor. The City Assessor shall assess all property in the City liable to assessment for general taxes or for local improvements.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law repealed former § 6-71, Bureau of Assessment, added by § 124 of L.L. No. 4-1925, as amended, and also provided that the word "Assessors," however it appears in Chapter 755 of the Laws of 1907, as amended, shall be deemed to refer to the Assessor as above named.
[L.L. No. 17-1975; § 1, L.L. No. 9-1982[1]; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
The City Assessor shall have the power and be charged with the duty to carry out the purpose and intent of Article 4-A of the Commerce Law, § 485 of the Real Property Tax Law and the other applicable laws of the State of New York to grant business facility owners or operators, as defined by the aforesaid state laws, tax exemptions or tax credits from taxes imposed to the extent of any increase in the value of the capital improvements, commenced: (1) on or after the effective date of this section and (2) completed after certification by the New York State Job Incentive Board, consisting of construction, reconstruction, erection or improvements of depreciable real property, as certified in the certificate of eligibility issued by the New York State Job Incentive Board, created by § 116 of the Commerce Law, provided that the owner or operator of the business facility files before the taxable status date with the Assessor of the City an application on the form prescribed by the New York State Board of Equalization and Assessment, to which there shall be attached a copy of the certificate of eligibility so issued and simultaneously therewith files the application with the State Board of Equalization and Assessment and the State Job Incentive Board.
Upon submission of the aforesaid application and proof, the Assessor, with or without a hearing, shall consider the application for such exemption and if found to be in order, determine the assessed value of the exemption in accordance with the certificate of eligibility and enter such value on the exempt portion of the assessment roll.
The Assessor, in his or her determination, shall grant tax credit or exemption as follows:
First Three Years
100%
Fourth Year
75%
Fifth Year
50%
Sixth Year
25%
Seventh Year
20%
Eighth Year
15%
Ninth Year
10%
Tenth Year
5%
Such exemption so granted shall continue from year to year during the period of years, not to exceed 10 years, as above provided, only if the certificate of eligibility is not revoked or modified and is renewed or extended by the State Job Incentive Board.
Any exemption so granted by the Assessor shall commence with the assessment roll prepared on the next following taxable status date of the City of Rochester.
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 2 of this local law provided as follows:
"Section 2. This local law shall take effect on February 1, 1983, and shall apply to all applications for tax exemptions submitted to the City Assessor on or after said date, except that businesses submitting applications for a certificate of eligibility to the New York State Job Incentive Board prior to February 1, 1983, shall remain eligible for the tax exemption in accordance with the schedule in effect prior to this local law, provided that they commence construction of eligible improvements before January 1, 1984."
[§ 1, L.L. No. 7-1983; § 1, L.L. No. 3-1985; § 1, L.L. No. 7-2017]
A. 
The City Assessor is authorized and directed to increase the amount of each veterans' exemption granted under § 458 of the Real Property Tax Law, pursuant to the provisions of Subdivision 5(a) of such section.
B. 
Beginning with the 2018-19 tax year, the veterans exemption from taxes pursuant to § 458 of the Real Property Tax Law shall also be applied to taxes levied for school purposes, pursuant to Subdivision 1(3) of such section.
C. 
All other provisions of § 458 of the Real Property Tax Law shall continue to apply to all veterans' exemptions.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 11-1993]
A. 
The Residential Improvement Exemption Program authorized by § 421-f of the Real Property Tax Law is hereby adopted.
B. 
Any residential buildings reconstructed, altered or improved subsequent to the effective date of this local law, which otherwise qualify for exemption under § 421-f of the Real Property Tax Law, shall be exempt from taxation to the full extent permitted by § 421-f of the Real Property Tax Law.
C. 
In any year in which the City reassesses all property, any exemptions previously granted pursuant to this program shall be adjusted to account for any change in the assessment on the property; the amount of assessment eligible for exemption, before application of the exemption percentage for that year, shall be increased or decreased in the same proportion as the increase or decrease in the assessment on the property.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 8-1994]
Pursuant to § 485-e of the New York State Real Property Tax Law, the Council hereby authorizes a ten-year partial exemption from taxation for real property constructed, altered, installed or improved in the area of the City designated an Economic Development Zone under Article 18-B of the General Municipal Law. Such exemption shall be for a term of 10 years, notwithstanding that the designation of the zone may expire prior to the end of such ten-year period. The terms and conditions of each such exemption shall be as set forth in § 485-e of the Real Property Tax Law.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 3-1997; § 1, L.L. No. 1-1998; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2015]
Pursuant to § 458-a(2)(d)(ii) of the Real Property Tax Law, the Council hereby approves the alternative veterans tax exemption allowable in Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of Subdivision 2 in the amount of $27,000, $18,000 and $90,000, respectively, or the product of such amounts multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the City, whichever is less. This exemption shall also be applicable to taxes levied for school purposes.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 2-1998]
A. 
The Council hereby approves the partial tax exemption authorized by § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law for alteration or rehabilitation of historic properties.
B. 
(1) 
Historic property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in assessed value attributable to the alteration or rehabilitation pursuant to the following schedule:
Year of Exemption
Percent of Exemption
1
100%
2
100%
3
100%
4
100%
5
100%
6
80%
7
60%
8
40%
9
20%
10
0%
(2) 
No such exemption shall be granted for such alterations or rehabilitation unless:
(a) 
Such property has been designated as a landmark, or is a property that contributes to the character of an historic district, created by a local law passed pursuant to § 96-a or 119-dd of the General Municipal Law.
(b) 
Alterations or rehabilitation must be made for means of historic preservation.
(c) 
Such alterations or rehabilitation of historic property meet guidelines and review standards established in the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 120, Zoning.
(d) 
Such alterations or rehabilitation of historic property are approved by the Preservation Board prior to commencement of work.
(e) 
Alterations or rehabilitation are commenced subsequent to the effective date of this local law.
C. 
Additional terms and conditions of the exemptions shall be as set forth in § 444-a of the Real Property Tax Law.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 3-2003[1]]
The Council hereby provides for the exemption of real property from taxation as authorized in § 485-a of the Real Property Tax Law to real property located in the Center City Zoning District, provided that the cost of conversion to mixed-use property exceeds the sum of $250,000 and provided further that as a result of the conversion at least 25% of the total developed floor space is used for residential purposes.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law provided that it would be in effect for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 assessment rolls, and L.L. No. 5-2006 extended the exemption program for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 assessment rolls, with the condition that any property granted an exemption on one of those rolls would remain eligible for the additional years of exemption on that property, provided the property continued to meet the requirements of § 485-a; L.L. No. 7-2009 extended the exemption program for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 assessment rolls, with the condition that any property granted an exemption on one of those rolls shall remain eligible for the additional years of exemption on that property, provided the property continues to meet the requirements of § 485-a; L.L. No. 7-2012 extended the exemption program for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 assessment rolls, with the condition that any property granted an exemption on one of those rolls shall remain eligible for the additional years of exemption on that property, provided the property continues to meet the requirements of § 485-a; L.L. No. 1-2016 extended the exemption program for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 assessment rolls, with the condition that any property granted an exemption on one of those rolls shall remain eligible for the additional years of exemption on that property, provided the property continues to meet the requirements of § 485-a; L.L. No. 1-2019 extended the exemption program for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 assessment rolls, with the condition that any property granted an exemption on one of those rolls shall remain eligible for the additional years of exemption on that property, provided the property continues to meet the requirements of § 485-a.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 7-2008; § 1, L.L. No. 5-2017]
The Council hereby approves the exemption of qualifying real property from taxation as authorized in Subdivision 2(a)(i) and (b) of § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law, Exemption for Cold War veterans. Notwithstanding the ten-year limitation imposed by Subdivision 2(c)(iii) of § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law, the Council hereby approves granting the foregoing exemption to qualifying owners of qualifying real property for as long as they remain qualifying owners, without regard to such ten-year limitation. Beginning with the 2018-19 tax year, the exemption provided for in this section shall also be applicable to taxes levied for school purposes.
[§ 1, L.L. No. 6-2017]
The Council hereby approves the partial tax exemption of qualifying real property that is owned by one or more persons with a disability whose income is limited by reason of such disability, as authorized in § 459-c of the Real Property Tax Law, Persons with disabilities and limited incomes, to commence with the 2018-19 tax year. In addition, Council hereby approves providing said tax exemption to qualifying property owners whose income exceeds the maximum income eligibility level set forth in Subsection 459-c(5)(a), provided that the exemption is reduced proportionately in accordance with Subsection 459-c(1)(b). The exemption provided for in this section shall also be applicable to taxes levied for school purposes.
[§ 181, L.L. No. 4-1925]
It shall be the duty of the Assessor to install a scientific and equitable system for the assessment of property within the City, which shall provide, among other things, for tax maps and land value maps and for recording separately the value of each parcel of land and the value of any building or structure thereon. The tax maps shall show the dimensions of each separately assessed parcel of land within the City; and the land value maps shall show the value per front foot, according to a standard unit of depth, of all land abutting on any street, public way or place of the City; but as to acreage tracts, the land value maps shall show the value per acre. All such maps and other records of the Assessor shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.
[§ 202, c. 755, L. 1907; c. 524, L. 1921; L.L. No. 4-1925; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
Before the owner of any tract or parcel of land situate in the City of Rochester sells or conveys any portion thereof in subdivisions of such tract or parcel, he or she must cause a map of such tract to be made showing the subdivisions thereof, with the numbers of the lots and their dimensions, and all proposed streets, lanes or alleys, which map must be filed in the office of the County Clerk of Monroe County, and a copy or duplicate thereof delivered to the Assessors of the City; and whenever such owner conveys any portion of said tract in such manner as to effect a subdivision of any lots as designated in such allotment, he or she must give notice thereof immediately to the Assessors, specifying the part so divided and the manner of division. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.
[§ 195 D, L.L. No. 4-1925, as added by L.L. No. 4-1936; L.L. No. 12-1957]
In order that the Assessors may ascertain facts for assessments every person, copartnership, association or corporation which is required to file annual reports with the New York State Tax Department under Article 2, § 44, of the New York State Tax Law and which is subject to local taxation on special franchise in the City of Rochester, shall file with the Bureau of Assessment of the City of Rochester, a verified copy, photostatic or otherwise, of schedules or parts of schedules contained in the annual report filed with the New York State Tax Department showing, if any:
A. 
All tangible property located in, upon, under and above streets, highways, public places and public waters, in the City of Rochester, including such tangible property constructed during the year in the City of Rochester. Also,
B. 
All tangible real property outside of streets, highways, public places, and public waters, in the City of Rochester, other than private rights of way and property located thereon. Also,
C. 
All rights of way owned in fee and property located thereon in the City of Rochester.
The said verified copies of said schedules, or parts of schedules, as filed with the New York State Tax Department, shall be filed with the Bureau of Assessment of the City of Rochester within 60 days after the date required by the New York State Tax Department for the filing of the original report with the said State Tax Department, and shall begin with a copy of the said schedules or parts of schedules filed with the said State Tax Department for the year ended December 31, 1935, and shall be filed annually thereafter.
[L.L. No. 3-1993; § 1, L.L. No. 6-2009]
A. 
Property information to be provided. The owner of every parcel of real property in the City in the nonhomestead class assessed on the latest assessment roll at $100,000 or more shall be required to provide to the City Assessor the following information about the property on forms prescribed by the Assessor.
B. 
Nature of information required. The information to be provided shall include an itemized statement of all rental income derived from the property, if any, and all expenses attributable to the property, for each of the property owner's four most recent fiscal years, through the most recent year concluding at least two months prior to the date of the Assessor's notice of request for the information. The property owner, or an officer thereof, shall certify that the information provided is accurate to the best of his or her knowledge.
C. 
Additional information. After review of the statements for a property, the City Assessor may in addition request copies of documents or records that substantiate the information reported.
D. 
Audited financial statements. Where a property owner obtains audited financial statements pertaining to the property, such statements shall be provided to the City Assessor in lieu of the information required above.
E. 
When information provided. The information shall be provided to the City Assessor within 30 days after issuance by the Assessor of a written notice to the property owner requesting such information. The Assessor may grant extensions of up to 45 additional days, where he or she deems it to be warranted, based upon good cause shown in writing by the property owner.
F. 
Failure to provide information. Where information requested by the City Assessor is not provided within 30 days of the issuance by the Assessor of a written notice of request, or by such other date to which the Assessor has granted an extension of time, the Assessor shall issue a second notice to provide the information, which shall be served upon the property owner by first-class mail with delivery confirmation or by any method of service authorized by law for the service of a summons. If the information requested still is not provided within 30 days of the receipt by the property owner of the second notice, the Assessor may (1) apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order directing such property owner to comply with such request, and/or (2) apply to the Director of Finance for the imposition of a penalty upon such property owner, as provided below.
G. 
Penalties. Where the City Assessor applies to the Director of Finance for the imposition of a penalty for alleged noncompliance with the requirements of this section, the Director shall send a written notice of proposed penalty to the property owner, stating that a penalty is being requested by the Assessor, the amount of penalty requested and that a hearing may be had before the Director of Finance or his or her designee, provided that a request for a hearing is made on or before a specified date, at least 20 days from the date of issuance of the notice of proposed penalty. At the hearing, the property owner shall be entitled to raise any factual issues regarding his or her alleged failure to comply with the requirements of this section. After the hearing, if a hearing is requested, or after the date by which a hearing must have been requested, if no request is made, the Director of Finance shall issue and send to the property owner a determination of penalty. Any penalty shall be at the rate of 1% of the assessed value of the property for which the information was requested, for each year of noncompliance, beginning 30 days after service of the second notice to provide information. The determination of penalty may provide for the accrual of additional monthly penalties in the future, if the property owner continues not to provide the requested information. Any penalties that remain unpaid on May 15 may be added to the upcoming year's City and school tax bill for the property for which information was requested and shall thenceforth accrue interest and be a lien upon the property as provided by law for other charges added to taxes. The notice of proposed penalty and determination of penalty shall be sent to the property owner by regular mail.
[§ 197, c. 755, L. 1907]
The assessment against any lot or parcel of land may be made in the name of the owner or occupant thereof, or by any description by which it may be distinguished without reference to the owner or occupant thereof; and an assessment is not invalid as against the real estate by reason of the omission of the name of the owner or occupant thereof, or both, or because of any error in the name of the person or corporation assessed therefor. Every assessment creates a debt and personal obligation in favor of the City and against the person or corporation assessed, provided that at the time of the making of the assessment roll preparatory to hearing allegations thereon the person or corporation assessed is a resident of the State of New York and the owner or occupant of the lot or parcel of land assessed, for the collection of which, together with interest, costs and expenses, said City may maintain in its own name an action in any court of competent jurisdiction, in addition to any other remedies now provided by law for the collection thereof, and such action may be maintained even though said assessment has been added to the annual City tax.
[§ 192, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 9-1948]
All lots and parcels of land in the City of Rochester, even though exempt from taxation under the general laws of the state, are liable to assessment for public improvements and work,[1] except lands actually used and occupied for cemetery purposes and lots and plats therein, heretofore or hereafter conveyed as places for the burial of the dead.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 13-1, Definition of local and municipal improvements.
[§ 200, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 11-1933; L.L. No. 10-1948]
All annual taxes and local assessments heretofore or hereafter levied and assessed by the City of Rochester or by its officers, together with interest, fees and penalties, are and shall be valid and effectual, notwithstanding any irregularity, omission or error in the proceedings relating to the same or any of them, or in the making, levying or assessment of the same: and all proceedings for the collection of the same are and shall be valid and effectual, notwithstanding any irregularity, omission or error in such proceedings or any of them. All proceedings for the insertion heretofore or hereafter in the annual tax rolls of local assessments or installments, expenses of public improvements or work apportioned upon the property benefited, expenses of cleaning and repairing sidewalks, water rates, expenses of installing, maintaining and/or repairing water meters, and all other items, and all the proceedings preliminary to inserting the same, including the adding of interest and penalties, are and shall be valid and effectual, notwithstanding any irregularity, omission or error in such proceedings or any of them. Nothing in this section contained applies to a local assessment heretofore set aside by the Council or a court of competent jurisdiction, or to local assessments against the State of New York.
[§ 199, c. 755, L. 1907; L.L. No. 9-1931; L.L. No. 10-1933; L.L. No. 12-1956; L.L. 4-1965; L.L. No. 9-1966; L.L. No. 11-1971]
All annual taxes and all local assessments heretofore or hereafter levied by the City of Rochester or by its officers, and all water rates and expenses of installing, maintaining and/or repairing water meters heretofore or hereafter charged or assessed by the City of Rochester or by its officers, together with interest, fees and penalties, are and shall be and remain, until actually paid or satisfied or set aside by the Council or a court of competent jurisdiction, a lien upon the land, tenements or real estate on which or in respect to which the same have been made, from 12:00 midnight on the 30th day of June next following the passage of the ordinances of the Council levying the same in the case of annual taxes, and from the time of the confirmation by the Council of the rolls containing the same in the case of local assessments, and from the time the same become due in the case of water rates and the expenses of installing, maintaining and/or repairing water meters; and are and shall be a lien on the property assessed, prior and superior to all other liens and encumbrances. In case an annual tax or local assessment is levied upon a parcel of land and two or more persons are or become the owners thereof, or it is situate in more than one district, the Council may apportion such tax or assessment upon such parcel of land in such manner as the Assessors may certify to be just, and thereupon such tax or assessment becomes separate liens upon the respective parts of such parcel of land and in the respective amounts designated by the Council.
[§ 196, L.L. No. 4-1925]
The Council has power to reduce any tax or local assessment, or to cancel or remit the same, or any part thereof, or the whole or any part of interest, penalties and fees thereon, upon such conditions as it deems proper, in all cases in which a written petition is filed with the City Clerk signed by a person interested or by the City Treasurer or the Assessor, stating why such tax or assessment should be canceled, remitted or reduced.
[§ 163, L.L. No. 4-1925, as added by L.L. No. 12-1930; § 1, L.L. No. 1-2006]
When in the judgment of the Council there is any irregularity, omission, error or lack of jurisdiction in any of the proceedings relating to any tax or local assessment heretofore or hereafter levied and assessed, or in the making, levying or assessment of the same, the Council has power, after causing notice to the person or corporation to be taxed or assessed to be served personally or by mail, directed to his or her last known place of residence, or its last known place of business, and an opportunity to be heard at a time specified in such notice, to correct any such tax or local assessment, or any part thereof, and to reassess the same in such amount as it deems proper, including therein interest at such rate on such amount as it deems proper, against the proper person or corporation or property it deems liable to such tax or benefited by such improvement, or both; and such correction or reassessment has the same effect as though the tax or assessment had originally been properly levied and assessed.
[§ 198, c. 755, L. 1907]
Nothing herein contained is intended or is to be deemed to repeal or modify any of the provisions of § 20 of the Public Lands Law.