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ARTICLE VIII.

STATE BOARD OF TAX COMMISSIONERS; STATE BOARD OF

EQUALIZATION.

Section 170. State board of tax commissioners.

171. Powers and duties of board of tax commissioners.
172. Tax commissioners to visit counties.
173. State board of equalization; powers and duties.
174. Appeals to the state board of tax commissioners from

equalization of board of supervisors.
175. Appeals, how conducted.
176. Determination of appeals.
177. Costs on appeal.

$ 170. State board of tax commissioners.— The tax commissioners now in office shall continue in office for the terms for which they were appointed, and they and their successors shall constitute the state board of tax commissioners. On the expiration of their terms the governor shall appoint three commissioners by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to hold office for three years, and so classified that the term of office of one of them shall expire with the thirtyfirst day of December in each year, and in case of a vacancy the appointment shall be for the unexpired term. Each commissioner shall receive an annual compensation of five thousand dollars, payable monthly, and in addition thereto the expenses actually incurred by him, in the discharge of his official duties, including expenses while attending meetings of the commission. (Thus amended by L. 1900, chap. 94, taking effect March 8, 1900.)

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§ 171. Powers and duties of state board of tax commissioners. The state board of tax commissioners shall:

First. Investigate and examine, from time to time, as to the methods of assessment within the state.

Second. Furnish local assessors with such information as may be necessary or proper to aid them in making the assessment thereof.

Third. Make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this article and prepare

Orms for reports and assessment-rolls, and furnish the same i assessors and other officers at the expense of the state. Fourth. Take testimony and hear proofs, under oath, with ference to any matter within the line of its official duty. ny member of such board may be designated for that purose. And it may require from all state and municipal offiis such information as may be necessary for the proper ischarge of its duties.

Fifth. Hold meetings at an office to be assigned it in one f the state buildings at Albany, at such times as may be sed by the chairman of the board or by adjournment hereof, or at such other places as it may designate.

Sixth. Employ a secretary, prescribe his duties and fix his lary at a sum not to exceed thirty-five hundred dollars per nnum; employ not to exceed six special agents who shall e deemed the confidential agents of the board; and experts nd other needed assistants and prescribe their duties. It all fix the compensation of such employees, which shall ot exceed in the aggregate the amount annually approriated by the legislature for that purpose.

Seventh. Prepare an annual report to the legislature and commend such changes or amendments to the tax laws as may deem advisable. Eighth. Perform the other powers and duties conferred pon it by law. (Thus amended by L. 1899, chap. 712, takg effect October 1, 1899, and L. 1900, chap. 94, taking Pect March 8, 1900.)

§ 172. Tax commissioners to visit counties.- Two or ore of the members of the board of tax commissioners shall ficially visit every county in the state at least once in two ars, and inquire into the methods of assessment and taxion, and ascertain whether the assessors faithfully disharge their duties and particularly as to their compliance ith this act requiring the assessment of all property not Kempt from taxation at its full value.

§ 173. State board of equalization; powers and duties.he commissioners of the land office and the three commisoners of taxes shall constitute the state board of equalizaon. The state board of equalization shall meet in the city

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of Albany on the first Tuesday in September in each year, for the purpose of examining and revising the valuations of real and personal property of the several counties as returned to the board of tax commissioners, and shall fix the aggregate amount of assessment for each county, upon which the comptroller shall compute the state tax. Such board may increase or diminish the aggregate valuations of real property in any county by adding or deducting such sum as in its opinion may be just and necessary to produce a just relation between the valuations of real property in the state. But it shall, in no instance, reduce the aggregate valuations of all the counties below the aggregate valuations thereof as so returned. The comptroller shall immediately ascertain from this assessment, a copy of which shall be transmitted to him, the proportion of state tax each county shall pay, and mail a statement of the amount to the county clerk, and to the chairman and clerk of the board of supervisors of each county.

§ 174. Appeals to the state board of tax commissioners from equalization by board of supervisors. — Any supervisor may appeal in behalf of the town, city or ward, which he wholly or in part represents, to the state board of tax commissioners, from any act or decision of the board of supervisors, in the equalization of assessments and the correction of the assessment-rolls. If such appeal is brought in behalf of a town, a majority of the town board of such town, if in behalf of a city, a majority of the supervisors representing such city, or if the assessment in the wards of any city are equalized separately and such wards have separate assessment-rolls, then the alderman or aldermen representing such ward in the common council of the city, shall first consent to and approve of the bringing of such appeal. peal shall be brought within ten days after the delivery of the assessment-roll to the collector by filing in the office of the county clerk a notice thereof, with such consent indorsed thereon or annexed thereto, together with the affidavit of the supervisor so appealing, that in his opinion injustice has been done to such town, city or ward by the act or decision from which the appeal is taken; and also within such time,

Such ap

by serving personally or by mail, a duplicate or copy of such notice, consent and affidavit on the chairman or clerk of the board of supervisors, and by mailing such a copy or duplicate to the state board of tax commissioners.

$ 175. Appeals, how conducted. The board of tax commissioners may prepare a form of petition and notice of appeal from decisions of the board of supervisors in the equalization of assessment and rules and regulations in relation to bringing such appeals to a hearing or trial thereof. Such rules shall provide for a hearing on the papers and proofs submitted to the board of supervisors on making the equalization, in case the party so desires, and also, in case the notice of appeal so specifies, for the taking of additional evidence offered by either party. The appeal shall be heard in the county in which it originated. In either case such hearing shall be had at a time and place to be fixed by the board upon notice of at least twenty days by mail to the party appealing and to the clerk of the board of supervisors of the county in which the appeal is taken. If the appellant or his successor fails to appear at the time and place appointed or upon any day to which such hearing and trial shall be adjourned, the board shall make an order dismissing the appeal, which shall have the same effect as if the appeal had not been sustained after a hearing on the merits.

$ 176. Determination of appeals.- On every such hearing or trial, the board of tax commissioners shall determine whether any, and if any, what deductions ought to be made from the aggregate corrected value of the real and personal property of such tax district as made and to what tax district or districts in such county the amount of such deductions, if any, shall be added; and shall certify their determination, in writing, to such board of supervisors and forward the same by mail within ten days thereafter to the clerk of the board, directed to him at his post-office address and forward a copy thereof to the supervisor appealing. Such determination shall be carried into effect by such board at its next annual session.

$ 177. Costs on appeal. The board of tax commissioners shall certify the reasonable expenses on every such appeal,

not exceeding the sum of two thousand dollars, for services of counsel and one thousand dollars for all other expenses, including the compensation and expense of the stenographer. If such appeal is not sustained, the costs and expenses thereof so certified shall be a charge upon the tax district or districts taking such appeal and shall be levied thereon by the board of supervisors. If the appeal is sustained, the amount of such costs and expenses so certified shall be levied by the board of supervisors upon, and collected from, the county in the assessment and collection of taxes for the current year, except the tax district or tax districts whose appeal is sustained. If there shall be appeals by more than one tax district in the county, some of which are sustained and some dismi d, the state board shall decide what portion of such costs and expenses shall be borne by any tax district whose appeal is dismissed.

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