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This entry was published on 2019-04-19
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SECTION 104
Electronic real property tax administration
Real Property Tax (RPT) CHAPTER 50-A, ARTICLE 1
§ 104. Electronic real property tax administration. 1. Notwithstanding
any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner is hereby
authorized to establish standards for electronic real property tax
administration (E-RPT). Such standards shall set forth the terms and
conditions under which the various tasks associated with real property
tax administration may be executed electronically, dispensing with the
need for paper documents. Such tasks shall include any or all of the
following:

(a) The filing of exemption applications;

(b) The filing of petitions for administrative review of assessments;

(c) The filing of petitions for judicial review of assessments;

(d) The filing of applications for administrative corrections of
errors;

(e) The issuance of statements of taxes;

(f) The payment of taxes, subject to the provisions of sections five
and five-b of the general municipal law;

(g) The provision of receipts for the payment of taxes;

(h) The issuance of taxpayer notices required by law, including
sections five hundred eight, five hundred ten, five hundred ten-a, five
hundred eleven, five hundred twenty-five and five hundred fifty-one-a
through five hundred fifty-six-b of this chapter; and

(i) The furnishing of notices and certificates under this chapter
relating to state equalization rates, residential assessment ratios,
special franchise assessments, railroad ceilings, taxable state lands,
advisory appraisals, and the certification of assessors and county
directors or real property tax services, subject to the provisions of
subdivision five of this section.

2. Such standards shall be developed after consultation with local
government officials, the office of court administration in the case of
standards relating to petitions for judicial review of assessments, and
the office of the state comptroller in the case of standards relating to
payments or taxes and the issuance of receipts therefor.

3. (a) Taxpayers shall not be required to accept notices, statements
of taxes, receipts for the payment of taxes, or other documents
electronically unless they have so elected. Taxpayers who have not so
elected shall be sent such communications in the manner otherwise
provided by law.

(b) The governing board of any municipal corporation may, by local
law, ordinance or resolution, determine that it is in the public
interest for such municipal corporation to provide electronic real
property tax administration. Upon adoption of such local law, ordinance
or resolution, such municipal corporation shall comply with standards
set forth by the commissioner.

(c) The standards prescribed by the commissioner pursuant to this
section relating to communications with taxpayers shall provide for the
collection of electronic contact information, such as e-mail addresses
and/or social network usernames, from taxpayers who have elected to
receive electronic communications in accordance with the provisions of
this section. Such information shall be exempt from public disclosure in
accordance with section eighty-nine of the public officers law.

4. When a document has been transmitted electronically in accordance
with the provisions of this section and the standards adopted by the
commissioner hereunder, it shall be deemed to satisfy the applicable
legal requirements to the same extent as if it had been mailed via the
United States postal service.

5. (a) On and after January first, two thousand twenty, whenever the
commissioner is obliged by law to mail a notice of the determination of
a tentative state equalization rate, tentative special franchise
assessment, tentative assessment ceiling or other tentative
determination of the commissioner that is subject to administrative
review, the commissioner shall be authorized to furnish the required
notice by e-mail, or by causing it to be posted on the department's
website, or both, at his or her discretion. When providing notice of a
tentative determination by causing it to be posted on the department's
website, the commissioner also shall e-mail the parties required by law
to receive such notice, to inform them that the notice of tentative
determination has been posted on the website. Such notice of tentative
determination shall not be deemed complete unless such emails have been
sent. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the
commissioner shall not be required to furnish such notices by postal
mail, except as provided by paragraphs (d) and (e) of this subdivision.

(b) When providing notice of a tentative determination by e-mail or
posting pursuant to this subdivision, the commissioner shall specify an
e-mail address to which complaints regarding such tentative
determination may be sent. A complaint that is sent to the commissioner
by e-mail to the specified e-mail address by the date prescribed by law
for the mailing of such complaints shall be deemed valid to the same
extent as if it had been sent by postal mail.

(c) When a final determination is made in such a matter, notice of the
final determination and any certificate relating thereto shall be
furnished by e-mail or by a website posting, or both at the
commissioner's discretion, and need not be provided by postal mail,
except as provided by paragraphs (d) and (e) of this subdivision. When
providing notice of a final determination by website posting, the
commissioner also shall e-mail the parties required by law to receive
such notice, to inform them that the notice of final determination has
been posted on the website. Such notice of final determination shall not
be deemed complete unless such emails have been sent.

(d) If an assessor has advised the commissioner in writing that he or
she prefers to receive the notices described in this subdivision by
postal mail, the commissioner shall thereafter send such notices to that
assessor by postal mail, and need not send such notices to that assessor
by e-mail. The commissioner shall prescribe a form that assessors may
use to advise the commissioner of their preference for postal mail.

(e) If the commissioner learns that an e-mail address to which a
notice has been sent pursuant to this subdivision is not valid, and the
commissioner cannot find a valid e-mail address for that party, the
commissioner shall resend the notice to the party by postal mail. If the
commissioner does not have a valid e-mail address for the party at the
time the notice is initially required to be sent, the commissioner shall
send the notice to that party by postal mail.

(f) On or before November thirtieth, two thousand nineteen, the
commissioner shall send a notice by postal mail to assessors, to chief
executive officers of assessing units, and to owners of special
franchise property and railroad property, informing them of the
provisions of this section. The notice to be sent to assessors shall
include a copy of the form prescribed pursuant to paragraph (d) of this
subdivision.

(g) As used in this subdivision, the term "postal mail" shall mean
mail that is physically delivered to the addressee by the United States
postal service.