Research

Report on taxation of state land within the Forest Preserve

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The series consists of a report, supporting memoranda, and statement on taxation within the Forest Preserve. The files discuss gains/loses to the state on taxes, returns of taxes, or loss of land titles through cancellation of land sales. Also included is a memorandum relative to taxes on lands of non-residents and on state-owned "wild land." and a statement of towns where state-owned lands exceeds 25% of the total acreage of each town.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.1 cu. ft.
Inclusive Dates:
[ca. 1914
Series Number:
A1471

Administrative History

Initially, land in the Forest Preserve (created in 1885) was tax exempt. This was a hardship on towns in the sparsely populated region that relied on property taxes. Chapter 280 of the Laws of 1896 authorized taxation of Forest Preserve land. A copy of the assessment roll was sent to the comptroller for filing, examination and evaluation; valuations were corrected if land was assessed in unfair proportion to similar lands of individuals on the same roll. County treasurers sent accounts of taxes due on state lands to the comptroller. The comptroller could sell land for unpaid taxes.

A bill authorizing return of annual taxes of towns voting for highway repairs (L.1898, Ch. 351) also impacted the towns. It was customary to advance money to county treasurers on these annual taxes returned by them to the comptroller. This practice was apparently under review at the time this series was created.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of a typescript report, supporting memoranda, and statement on taxation within the Forest Preserve. It reviews gains/loses to the state on taxes, returns of taxes, or loss of land titles through cancellation of land sales. The report gives a history of relevant tax laws, and shows taxes paid on Forest Preserve lands since 1894, amounts paid since the enactment of the highway repair bill, and the acreage recovered or lost to the state on tax sales.

Included is a memorandum relative to Forest Preserve counties' return to the comptroller of taxes on lands of non-residents and on state-owned "wild land." Also present is a statement of towns in the Adirondack counties in which acreage of state-owned lands exceeds 25% of the total acreage of each town. It shows acreage, population, and taxes levied in 1907.

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