Page images

diligence used for the collection, the trustees are to credit him with the amount, $ 21, (No. 109,) to compare the account so rendered with the original tax list, certify to its accuracy, and transmit it, together with the collector's affidavit and their certificate to the county treasurer, Ø 22, (No. 110,) who is to pay the amount so returned out of any moneys in the treasury raised for contingent expenses. $ 23, (No. 111.) Such county treasurer is to lay the account, affidavit and certificate before the board of super. visors, who are to cause the amount of such unpaid taxes, with seven per cent in addition, to be levied on the lands of the respective non-residents liable to pay the same : which amount when collected, is to be returned to the county treasury, to reimburse the amount so advanced with the expense of collection. § 24, (No. 112.) Any person whose lands are included in any such account, may pay the tax assessed thereon to the county treasurer, at any time before the board of supervisors shall have directed the same to be levied. $ 25, (No. 113.) The same proceedings are to be had for the collection of the amount so directed to be raised by the board of supervi. sors, as are provided by law in relation to taxes on nonresident lands generally; and upon a return to the comptroller of the arrears uncollected, the amount is to be paid on his warrant to the county treasurer, and the state is to collect the same in the manner prescribed by law in respect to arrears of county taxes upon lands of non-residents. $ 26, (No. 114.)

To enable trustees the better to perform the duties thus devolving upon them, that portion of the Revised Statutes referred to in $ 20, (No. 108,) and which is applicable, is hereto annexed :

"$ 11. The lands of non-residents shall be designated in the same assessment roll, but in a part thereof separate from the other assessments, and in the manner prescribed in the two following sections.

"§ 12. If the land to be assessed, be a tract which is subdivided into lots, or be part of a tract which is so subdivided, the assessors shall proceed as follows:

“1. They shall designate it by its name, if known by one, or if it be not distinguished by a name, or the name be unknown, they shall state by what other lands it is bounded:

“2. If they can obtain correct information of the subdivisions they shall put down in their assessment rolls, and in a first column, all the unoccupied lots in their town or ward, owned by non-residents, by their numbers alone and without the names of their owners, beginning at the lowest number and proceeding in numerical order to the highest:

* 3. In'a second column, and opposite to the number of each lot, they shall set down the quantity of land therein, liable to taxation:

"4. In a third column, and opposite to the quantity, they shall set down the valuation of such quantity :

"5. If such quantity be a full lot, it shall be designated by the number alone; if it be a part of a lot, the part must be designated by boundaries, or in some other way, by which it may be known. .

5 Ø 13. If the land so to be assessed be a tract which is not subdivided, or if its subdivisions can not be ascertaind by the assessors, they shall proceed as follows:

"1. They shall enter in their roll the name or boundaries thereof, as above directed, and certify in the roll that such tract is not subdivided, or that they can not obtain correct information of the subdivisions, as the case may

"2. They shall set down in the proper column, the quantity and valuation as above directed .

“3. If the quantity to be assessed be the whole tract, such description by its name or boundaries will be suffi. cient; but if a part only is liable to taxation, that part of the part not liable, must be particularly described :

" 4. If any part of such tract be settled and occupied by a resident of the town or ward, the assessors shall except such part from their assessment of the whole tract, and shall assess it as other occupied lands are assessed."

The residue of the sections relates to the making of a map which is supposed not to be applicable to trustees of school districts; if a map is already on file the trustees might refer to it in aid of their descriptions.




PROCEEDING WHEN KEDUCTION IS CLAIMED. The valuations of taxable property are to be ascertained, as far as possible, from the last assessment roll of the town, and no person is entitled to any reduction in the valuation so ascertained, unless he gives notice of his claim to such reduction to the trustees of the district before the tax list shall be made out.-$ 79, (No. 117.)

The assessment roll of the town, when signed and certified according to the provisions of the 26th section of title 2, chap. 13, 1 Revised Statutes, is to be deemed the last assessment roll of the town. By 27, of the same title, this roll is to be delivered to the supervisor of the town on or before the first day of September in each year, to be by him delivered to the board of supervisors at their next meeting.

According to the opinion of the supreme court in 7 Wendell, 89, the roll is then to be deemed completed, so that the trustees may use it as the basis of their tax list. It is true that it may afterwards be altered by the board of supervisors, by increasing or diminishing the aggregate valuation of real estate of the town to make it correspond with that of other towns. But it is obvious this will not affect the proportion between the inhabitants of the same town, so that an assessment apportioned on either roll would be the same, so far as the real estate is concerned. Should the proportions be varied when real and personal estates are assessed to the same person, yet under the decision referred to, the tax list made out upon the assessment roll as completed by the assessors before any variation made by the supervisors would be valid. If any change is made by them, a subsequent tax list should vary also in the same particulars. Generally, the roll completed by the assessors will be a guide, but the trustees cannot be safe without recurring to the roll after its correction by the supervisors, as it has been held by the supreme court in the case above referred to, and in other cases, that if the tax list is made upon an assessment roll that is not the last valid one, the trustees will be personally liable.

The question is often raised, how far, and to what extent, the last assessment roll of the town is to be followed

in the valuations of trustees in levying taxes. It is to be adopted as the sole guide, where a valuation has actually been made by the assessors on property, the condition of which remains substantially the same. But where improvements have been made on real estate which has thereby actually been enhanced in value since the last assessment roll was completed, or where any material change has occurred in the situation of the property, it is obvious that the last assessment roll ceases to be a standard of valuation. So, where an inhabitant acquires or parts with personal property, since the assessment roll was made out. And it is to be recollected that trustees are bound to follow the last assessment roll as far as possible, only with reference to the valuations of property. Where it has changed hands, they are to put the assessment to the present owner, adopting the valuation of the town assessors. Where, for instance, one inhabitant sells his farm to another, the trustees, in levying a tax, are to assess the farm to the vendee, at the valuation of the town assessors, where no substantial improvement enhancing its value has occurred in the mean time; reducing, if the circumstances require it, the valuation of his personal property, by the amount paid or secured to be paid as the consideration money of the purchase, and increasing by the same amount the valuation of the personal estate of the vendor. In either of these cases, however, as an original valuation by the trustees in part would become necessary, the proceedings prescribed by $ 80 (No. 118,) would be requisite. But where a mere exchange of real estate is effected, no change in the valuations should be made, unless in the cases above specified, of substantial improvements or alterations; the names of the respective persons liable, only, requiring to be changed.

Where a reduction is duly claimed, and where, for any reason, the valuation of taxable property cannot be ascertained from the last assessment roll of the town, the trustees are required by $ 80, (No. 119,) to "ascertain the true value of the property to be taxed from the best evidence in their power, giving notice to the persons interest. ed, and proceeding in the same manner as the town assessors are required by law to proceed in the valuations of taxable property.” The proceedings to be had in such

cases are specifically and particularly pointed out in the 'following extract from the Revised S:atutes relating to the assessment of taxes. Substituting the word “trustees” for “ assessors," wherever it occurs, the directions there given will afford a perfect guide in all proceedings under section 80. It has been decided by the Superintendent, p. 319, Decisions, &c. that the notice may be given by posting it in three public places. It is to be given in all cases of variation from the town assessment roll.

"§ 15. If any person whose real or personal estate is liable to taxation, shall at any time before the assessors shall have completed their assessments, make affidavit that the valne of his real estate does not exceed a certain sum, to be specified in such affidavit; or that the value of the personal estate owned by him, after deducting his just debts, and his property, invested in the stock of incorporated companies, liable under this chapter to taxation on their capital, does not exceed a certain sum, to be specified in the affidavit, it shall be the duty of the assessors to value such real or personal estate, or both, as the case may be, at the sums specified in such affidavit, and no more.”

"§ 16. If any trustee, guardian, executor or administrator, shall specify, by affidavit, the value of the property possessed by him, or under his control, by virtue of such trust, after deducting the just debts due from him, and the stock held by him in incorporated companies liable to taxation, in that capacity, the assessors shall in like manner value the same at the sum specified in such affidavit."

"§ 17. All real and personal estate liable to taxation, the value of which shall not have been specified by the affidavit of the person taxed, shall be estimated by the assessors at its full value, as they would appraise the same in payment of a just debt, due from a solvent debtor."

After completing the assessment roll, section 19 provides that the assessors “shall make out one fair copy thereof, to be left with one of their number. They shall also forthwith cause notices thereof to be put up at three or more public places in their town or ward." ."$ 20. Such notices shall set forth that the assessore have completed their assessment roll, and that a copy thereof is left with one of their number, to be designated

« PreviousContinue »