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same ; which amount, when collected, is to be returned to the county treasurer, to reimburse the amount so advanced, with the expense of collection. § 93, (No. 116.) . : 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. § 94, (No. 117.) The same proceedings are to be had for the collection of the amount so directed to be raised by the board of supervisors, as are provided by law in relation to taxes on non-resident 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. § 95, (No. 118.) To enable the trustees better to perform the duties thus devolving upon them, that part of the Revised Statutes referred to in § 89, (No. 112,) 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. . ~ s “$13. If the land so to be assessed be a tract which is not subdivided, or if its subdivisions cannot be ascertained 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 cannot obtain correct information of the subdivisions, as the case may be:
“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 sufficient; but if a part only is liable to taxation, that part or 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.
4. VALUATIONS OF PROPERTY, How ASCERTAINED, AND MODE of PROCEEDING WIHEN REDUCTION 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.—$96, (No. 119.)
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 usexit 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 fast 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 $97, (No. 120,) 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 $97, (No. 120,) to “ascertain the true value of the property to be taxed from the best evidence in their power, giving notice to the persons interested, and proceeding in the same manner as the town assessors are required by law to proceed in the valuations of taxable property.” The proceedings to be had in such cases are specifically and particularly pointed out in the following extract from the Revised Statutes as amended by chap. 176, laws of 1851 relating to the assessment of taxes. Substituting the word “trustees” for “assessors,” wherever it occurs, the directions there given will afford a perfect guide in all proceedings under section 97. It has been decided by the Superintendent, p. 319 Decisions, &c. that the notice may be given by posting it in three public places. It is to be given in all cases of variation from the town assessment roll.
“Ś 6, [Act. of 1851.] Whenever any person on his own behalf, or on behalf of those whom he may represent, shall apply to the assessors of any town or ward to reduce the value of his real and personal estate, as set down in their assessment roll, it shall be the duty of such assessors to examine such person under oath, touching the value of his or their said real or personal estate, and after such examination they shall fix the value thereof, at such amount as they may deem just, but if such person shall refuse to answer any question to the value of his real or personal estate, or the amount thereof, the said assessors shall not reduce the value of such real or personal estate. The examination so taken shall be written, and shall be subscribed by the person examined, and shall be filed in the office of the town clerk of the town or city in which such assessment shall be made, and any person who shall wilfully swear falsely on such examination before the assessors, shall be deemed guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury. - “$ 7. The assessors of the several towns and wards of this State, shall have power to administer oaths to any person applying to them under the provisions of the sixth section of this act. “$ 17, (R. S.) All real and personal estate liable to taxation, shall be estimated and assessed by the assessors at its full and true 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 forth with cause notices thereof to be put up at three or more public places in their town or Ward.” - , “$ 4. (Act of 1851) “Such notices shall set forth that the assessors have completed their assessment roll, and that a copy thereof is left with one of their number, at a place to be specified therein, where the same may be seen and examined by any person interested, until the third Tuesday of August; and that on that day the assessors will meet at a time and place also to be specified in such notice, to review their assessments. On the application of any person conceiving himself aggrieved, it shall be the duty of the said assessors on such day to meet, at the time and place specified, and hear and examine all complaints in relation to such assessments that may be brought before them; and they are hereby empowered, and it shall be their duty, to adjourn from time to time, as may be necessary, to hear and determine such complaints; but in the several cities of this State, the notices required by this section, may conform to the requirements of the respective laws regulating the time and place and manner for revising the assessments in said cities, in all cases where a different time, place and manner is prescribed by said laws from that mentioned in this act. “Ś 5. If the assessors shall wilfully neglect to hold the meeting specified in the last preceding section, each assessor so neglecting shall be liable to a penalty of twenty dollars, to be sued for and recovered before any court having jurisdiction thereof, by the supervisor of the town, for the use of the poor of the same town ; and in case of such neglect to meet for review, any person aggrieved by the assessment of the assessors may appeal to the board of Supervisors, at their next meeting, who shall have power to review and correct such assessment. . “$ 21. The assessor with whom such assessment roll is left shall submit the same, during the twenty days specified in such motice, to the inspection of all persons who shall apply for that purose.” p It will be observed, that under the provisions of the act of 1847, (No. 108, § 85,) it is no longer necessary that the agent or servant of the non-resident owner should reside on, or “improve and occupy” land situated within the boundaries of the district, in order to render such non-resident owner liable to taxation ; provided such land is taxable for town and county purposes, and is situated within three miles of the site of the school-house of the district in which it lies. - - A non-resident owner is taxable for land occupied by an agent ; but not, if occupied by a tenant. If the person living on the premises rents the land as tenant, such tenant is liable to be taxed for the premises so occupied by him.—Com. School Dec. 27. The principle of this decision is fully sustained by the supreme court in the case of Dubois vs. Thorne, 7 Wendell, 518, in which a lessee of a non-resident owner was held liable for a tax for a part of a lot, and two sub-tenants for the parts occupied by them respectively. The court observed that the mere ownership of the property, without occupation by himself, his agent, or servant, was not sufficient to charge the non-resident owner with the tax. As the law now stands, however, such ownership will be sufficient in the absence of any occupation by a tenant. A saw-mill, having an agent or servant in charge of it, is taxable to the non-resident owner.—Com. School Dec. 82. So a factory unoccupied, is taxable to the non-resident owner.—Id. 100. Where there is a known error in the town assessment, the trustees may correct it in the district assessment. For instance, if a resident of a district should purchase or sell a lot after the town assessment had been made, the trustees would be required to vary the district assessment accordingly. But where there is no change in the property of the district, and the valuation is a matter of opinion merely, the trustees must be guided by the last assessment roll of the town, even though in their judgment such property, or any portion of it, is worth more or less than the estimate put upon it by the town assessors.-Com. School Dec. 3, * Alterations by the trustees from the last assessment roll of the town, by reason of improvements subsequently made, in consequence of which the property assessed has become enhanced in value, should be made only where such improvements are complete.—Id. 194. In assessing taxes in joint districts, the last assessment roll in each town must be followed, with respect to the taxable property within it, notwithstanding the standard of valuation adopted by the