SCHOOL TAX COLLECTION PROCEDURES

There are clearly identifiable and specific steps involved throughout the entire school tax collection process. While some have their basis in law, all represent sound business management. As there is a definite sequence to these steps, the following is organized in four phases which represent an orderly chronological set of board activities that relate to the tax collection process. Exhibits display suggested formats for resolutions, warrants and reports. Wording may have to be changed to conform with local practice or district specific requirements, but must always indicate conformance with the statutory requirements.

Phase 1

Resolution to confirm tax rolls and authorize the tax levy

After the board has calculated the amount of the tax levy and the tax rate necessary to support the approved expenditures, the assessment roll is extended. Thereupon it becomes the duty of the board of education to determine that the tax roll is correct. Having determined this, the board must take formal action to confirm the tax roll and authorize the tax levy. A suggested resolution is attached as Exhibit A. The board minutes must record this action.

It is imperative that the minutes of the board of education record the date and hour that the board adopts this resolution as it is this action that fixes the time when the school taxes become a lien against the property. Section 1312 of Real Property Tax Law states that "School taxes shall become a lien as of the date and hour of the confirmation or final adoption of the school tax roll by the school authorities."

Phase 2

Tax warrant

Immediately following the confirmation of the tax roll, the board will adopt a resolution issuing a tax warrant commanding the collector "to collect taxes in the total sum of $______." A suggested warrant form resolution is included as Exhibit B. The minutes must record this warrant signed by the members of the board. The warrant must be issued on or before September 1. (Real Property Tax Law, Section 1306-1)

Phase 3

Collector’s reports

The board of education should be kept informed as to the status of tax collections by means of periodic reports filed by the collector at intervals set forth by the board of education. The tax warrant issued for each tax roll commands the tax collector to be accountable for the definite amount of taxes extended on the tax roll and it fixes the time and date when the collection period ends. At the end of this collection period the collector shall file written reports with the board of education accounting for the amounts collected and the amounts remaining unpaid. (Real Property Tax Law, Section 1330-1). A suggested Collector’s Report is attached as Exhibit C.

Phase 4

Resolution to authorize filing of return tax claims

Upon receipt of the reports from the tax collector the board of education shall cause them to be audited. The clerk of the board or the business official is usually assigned this duty of comparing the collector’s reports and listing of unpaid items with the amounts of unpaid tax bills and the items not marked as paid on the original tax roll. The individual assigned the responsibility of checking the collector’s reports should also verify the fact that all of the money reported as collected was deposited to the district’s credit. If the reports are found to be correct in all aspects, this fact should be reported to the board at the time and in the manner it may specify.

By its formal acceptance of the collector’s report (see Exhibit D for suggested resolution) the board of education

Discharges its duty to hold the collector accountable for the responsibilities established in the original or amended tax warrant;

Directs its president to sign the certification contained on the return tax claim and to file the claim with the office of the county treasurer by November 15.

The procedures above are set forth in Real Property Tax Law, Section 1330.

 

EXHIBIT A

RESOLUTION TO CONFIRM TAX ROLLS AND AUTHORIZE TAX LEVY

WHEREAS the Board of Education has been authorized by the voters at the Annual School

Meeting to raise for the current budget of the 200___ - 200__ school year a sum not to

exceed $__________;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the board fix the equalized tax rates by towns and

confirm the extension of the taxes as they appear on the following described tax roll:

 

Name of Town

Total Assessed

Valuations

by Towns

Equalized

Tax Rate

by Towns

Total

Tax Levy

by Towns

 

 

 

     

 

TOTALS

$

XXX

$

AND BE IT HEREBY DIRECTED THAT the tax warrant of this board, duly signed shall be

affixed to the above-described tax rolls authorizing the collection of said taxes to

begin ____________ and end ____________ giving the tax warrant an effective period

of _________ days at the expiration of which time the tax collector shall make an

accounting in writing to the board;

AND IT IS FURTHER DIRECTED THAT the delinquent tax penalties shall be fixed as follows:

1st month free period,

2nd month interest of 2 percent added,

3rd month or fraction thereof, interest of 3 percent added.


EXHIBIT B

MOTION CONCERNING TAX WARRANT

(Collector Appointed to Serve on a Salary Basis)

Motion made by ______________________ #9; Seconded by _________________________

WHEREAS: Chapter 73 of the Laws of 1977, amended Section 1318, subdivision 1 of the Real

Property Tax Law; and

WHEREAS: the unencumbered, unreserved fund balance at the close of the last fiscal year must be applied in

determining the amount of the school tax levy except for an amount not to exceed

4% of the current school year budget; and

WHEREAS: this latter amount may be held as surplus funds during the current school year;

now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED: that the board of education retain as surplus funds $ _________ from the

 fund balance of $ __________ thereby applying $ __________ to the

reduction of the tax levy.

BE IT ADDITIONALLY RESOLVED AS FOLLOWS:

To the collector of _______________________ school district No. _______ Town(s) of

________________________________________ County(ies) of ________________________

_______________________________________ New York State.

You are hereby commanded:

To give notice and start collection on _____(date)______ in accordance with the provisions of Section 1322 of the Real Property Tax Law.

To give notice that tax collection will end on _____(date)_______.

To collect taxes in the total sum of $ _________ in the same manner that collectors are authorized to collect town and county taxes in accordance with the provisions of Section 1318 of the Real Property Tax Law.

To make no changes or alterations in the tax warrant or the attached tax rolls but shall return the same to the board of education. The board may recall its warrant and tax roll for correction of errors or omissions in accordance with the provisions of Section 1316 of the Real Property Tax Law.

To forward by mail to each owner of real property listed on the tax rolls within ten days after the start of collection a statement of taxes due on his property on press-numbered tax bill forms provided by the school district in accordance with the provisions of Section 922 of the Real Property Tax Law. To forward by mail, without interest penalties, to the office of the county treasurer a detailed tax bill of all state land parcels liable for taxes on the school tax rolls in accordance with provisions of Sections 540 and 544 of the Real Property Tax Law.

To receive from each of the taxable corporations and natural persons the sums listed on the attached tax rolls without interest penalties when such sums are paid before the end of the first month of the tax collection period. To add two percent interest penalties to all taxes collected during the second month of the tax collection and to add three per cent interest penalties to all taxes collected during any part of the third month of the tax collection period and to account for such sums as income due to the school district.

To issue press-numbered receipts only on forms provided by the school district in acknowledgement of receipt of payments of taxes and to retain, preserve and file exact carbon copies of all such receipts issued as required by Section 987 of the Real Property Tax Law.

To promptly return the warrant at its expiration and if any taxes on the attached tax rolls shall be unpaid at that time, deliver an accounting thereof on forms showing by town the total assessed valuation, tax rate, the total tax levy, the total amounts remaining uncollected as required by Section 1330 of the Real Property Tax Law.

The warrant is issued pursuant to Sections 910, 912 and 914 of the Real Property Tax Law and is delivered in accordance with Sections 1306 and 1318 of this law. It is effective immediately after it is properly signed by a majority of the board of education. The warrant shall expire on the date stated above unless a renewal or extension has been endorsed on the face of this warrant in writing in accordance with Section 1318, subdivision 2 of the Real Property Tax Law.

Member Vote

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ ____

_________________________________________ #9; #9; Motion Carried.

 

EXHIBIT C

THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
ALBANY, NY 12234

COLLECTOR’S REPORT
UNION FREE AND CENTRAL SCHOOLS

20____ - 20____

Date report submitted_________________ 20____ District No. _____________

Date warrant ended___________________ 20____ Town of ______________________

TOWN

ASSESSED

VALUE

TAX RATE PER $1000

AMOUNT

TAX LEVY

TOTAL TAXES

COLLECTED

TOTAL TAXES RETURNED

TO COUNTY

TOTAL INTEREST ADDED TO

RETURNED

TAXES

 

Total

XXXX

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment must be same as that on original warrant unless corrected by permission of Commissioner of Education.

Sum of Total Taxes Collected and Total Taxes Returned to County must equal the "Tax Levy."

Include State land, if any.

Amount of fees (if any) received by Tax Collector……………………………. $ __________

Date tax claim returned to county ___________________________, 2_____

Note. Return tax claim should be made ______________________________

Only after approval of this report. (Collector’s signature)

Approved:

____________________________________

(President or Clerk of Board of Education)

Note for district superintendents. Three copies of this form are provided for each of your union free and central school districts. Please forward these to boards of education or directly to the collectors with instructions to fill out the information called for immediately after the tax warrant has ended. One copy should be kept by the collector, one by the clerk and one forwarded promptly to the district superintendent.

EXHIBIT D

RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE FILING OF RETURN TAX CLAIMS

WHEREAS the Education Law provides that the tax collector shall be relieved of responsibility for he uncollected portion of the tax list when a complete list of the delinquent tax items have been certified to the Board of Education, and since the collector has affixed his affidavit to such statement and has filed a statement accounting for the handling of the tax warrant and list as follows:

 

 

Name of Town

Assessed

Valuation

Tax

Rate

Amount of Tax Levy

Amount

of Taxes

Collected

Amount

Of Taxes

Returned

 

 

 

         

 

TOTALS

$

XX

$

$

$

Total delinquent penalties collected and deposited #9; $

Total amount of taxes and delinquent penalties

deposited with the district treasurer $

AND WHEREAS the clerk (business manager) (district auditor) has examined and verified the

accuracy of the signed report of the collector;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the board accept the report of the tax collector, and

having determined that the collector has accounted for the full amount of the tax warrant,

direct that the lists of the delinquent tax items, with the addition of the two percent penalty be certified to the office of the county treasurer and/or other tax enforcement officer;

AND IT IS FURTHER DIRECTED that the tax warrant, tax roll and the tax collector’s copies of

the tax receipts be placed on file and be given fire protection in the school vault.