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THEY'RE TRYING TO STEAL MY HOME

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  • mzswales
    I live in New Cassel, a hamlet located outside the Village of Westbury, Town of North Hempstead, in the County of Nassau,State of New York.The westbury water
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2007
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      I live in New Cassel, a hamlet located outside the Village of Westbury, Town of North Hempstead, in the County of Nassau,State of New York.The westbury water district located in the Village of Westbury, supplies my water that I am assessed for on an ad valorem basis,(on property tax)but I'm also assessed by user fees(water bills) twice a year. May 2002,I received a ridiculous water bill for$590.00.I disputed it,didnt pay it the town added the $649.00($590.00 plus 10%penalty) delinquent user fees on my 2003 property tax.When I payed my taxes I didnt include the $649.00,the Town Receiver of Taxes refused to accept it and sent it back.My May 2004, water bill was $63.25 I paid it and have a receipt stamped PAID.In 2005,the Town added a delinquent water bill for $115.00 on my property tax as my May 2004,water bill.I took the receipt,and the original bill to town hall and showed them to the Town Supervisor,the Town Receiver of Taxes,the Town Clerk,the Town Council Men and,their secretaries,their secretaries, secretary,and Town Attorneys,but they told me the same thing they been telling me since 2002, the Town has nothing to do with the westbury water district, and they cant help me.I asked the Tax Receiver to remove it, and was told the C
      County Assesser put it there so they would have to remove it.Needless to say the Assesser pointed the finger back at the town saying the town put it there,its a town tax.Come to find out,the water district gives a list of unpaid water bills to the Town Clerk, the Town Clerk then authorizes the County Assesser to add the unpaid water bills onto the property tax.I have until tomorrow to come up with 35k in back taxes to redeem my home.Please read the following New York State laws I happened to stumble across  and relate them to what I've explained here and tell me I'm wrong when I say they are trying to steal my home.Any and all help will be more than appreciated.One more thing.Although I am a member of this group,I am not one of you.I dont have any knowledge of the law.I dont know how to site cases,nor do I understand legal language,in fact my law education consist of one quick course when I learned "you have the right to remain silent".I have enough sense to understand that my local government is not abiding by state laws.
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       2004-7
       
      LOCAL LAWS -- Taxes and Assessments (inclusion of delinquent water rents of outside users on tax roll)
      REAL PROPERTY TAXES AND ASSESSMENTS -- Tax Levy (enforcement of delinquent water user fees against outside users with)
      WATER RENTS -- Enforcement (of delinquent outside users by inclusion on tax roll)
      WATER SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION -- Water Supply (enforcement of delinquent charges against outside users)
       
      VILLAGE LAW §§11-1118, 11-1120; STATE CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE XVI, §1; MUNICIPAL HOME RULE LAW §10(1)(ii)(a)(9): Delinquent water charges owed by users of the village water system who are located outside the village, may not be collected by the inclusion of such delinquent amounts on the village or town tax roll.
       
      You ask whether a village may utilize the tax levy procedures set forth in Village Law §11-1118, for the enforcement of delinquent water user charges against properties located outside the village. If the village may not use those procedures, you ask whether the village may require the town in which the property is located to levy the delinquent amount on the town tax roll, or whether, at the request of the village, the town may levy such amount on the town tax roll.
       
      Village Law §11-1120 authorizes a village to sell, to a corporation, individual or water district outside the village, the right to make connections with mains and reservoirs of the village for the purpose of drawing water therefrom, and "fix the prices and conditions therefor." Section 11-1120 provides that a village may not sell or permit the use of water under that section if the supply for the village and its inhabitants would thereby become insufficient. Pursuant to section 11-1122 of the Village Law, a village may extend its water mains outside the village. If such an extension is made, the village "shall adopt rules, regulations and rates to apply to all consumers outside of the village." Section 11-1116 also authorizes the adoption of rules, regulations and local laws not inconsistent with law for enforcing the collection of water rents and provides that a village "may enforce observance thereof by cutting off the supply of water".
       
      Village Law §11-1118 authorizes villages to establish a scale of rents for use of water, to be paid at such times and in such manner as the prescribed by the village. Section 11-1118 provides that rents, together with penalties due for non-payment, "shall be a lien on the real property upon which or in connection with which the water is used …". In addition, section 11-1118 sets forth a procedure by which the amount of the delinquent water rent, plus penalties,
      is included in the "annual village tax levy" and thereby levied "upon the real property in default". Since Village Law §11-1118 authorizes a village to include delinquent water rents only on the village tax roll, the tax levy enforcement procedure of that section may be used only for properties within the villages (see, e.g., 1981 Opns St Comp No. 81-369, p 405; 1975 Opns St Comp No. 75-1159, unreported; 12 Opns St Comp, 1956, p 17; Real Property Tax Law §1402[1], [3][c], 1420 [1], [2]; see also 24 Opns St Comp, 1968, p 411).
       
      Further, there is no statutory authority for a village to require a town to levy such amounts on the town tax roll, or for the town to do so at the request of the village. In this regard, we note that Town Law §198(3)(d) sets forth a procedure for the enforcement of unpaid water charges imposed by a town board, on behalf a town water district, on property owners in adjoining towns who are permitted to use water from the district. Under section 198(3)(d), the county governing board is required to levy the amount of the delinquent water rents against the property liable as a tax in the annual tax rolls of the town in which the property is located. Town Law §198(3)(d), however, is limited in its application to users of a town water district whose property is located in an adjoining town. There is no similar statutory procedure for the levy on a town tax roll of delinquent water charges owed by outside users of a village water system.
       
      It is also our opinion that it is not within the village's home rule authority to provide, by local law, for the levy of such delinquent charges on either the village or town tax roll. We have expressed the opinion that when delinquent user charges, such as water rents, are collected by inclusion in the tax levy, the charges become indistinguishable and inseparable from the taxes themselves (see, e.g., 1986 Opns St Comp No. 86-76, p 120). It is well-settled that the power to assess and collect taxes is vested exclusively in the State Legislature and that a municipal corporation may exercise the authority to tax only if expressly delegated to it by the Legislature (NY Const, art. XVI, 1; see, e.g., City of New York v State of New York, 94 NY2d 577, 709 NYS2d 122; Greater Poughkeepsie Library District v Town of Poughkeeepsie, 81 NY2d 574, 601 NYS2d 94; Sonmax v City of New York, 43 NY2d 253, 401 NYS2d 173; see also NY Const, article IX, §2[c][8]; Municipal Home Rule Law §10[1][ii][a][9]). Any tax imposed must be within the expressed limitations of the enabling statute (Castile Oil v City of New York, 89 NY2d 334, 653 NYS2d 86). Therefore, absent express State statutory authority, such as that contained in Town law §198(3)(d), delinquent water rents owed by users of the village water system who are located outside the village may not be collected by inclusion on the town or village tax roll.
       
      Accordingly, delinquent water charges owed by users of the village water system who are located outside the village, may not be collected by the inclusion of such delinquent amounts on the village or town tax roll.1
       
      September 30, 2004
       
      Lynn E. Weinig, Esq., Attorney at Law
      Village of Briarcliff Manor
       
      1 With respect to other methods of collecting charges from outside users of a village water system, we have expressed the opinion that, pursuant to Village Law §§11-1116 and 11-1120, a village has several options available, including requiring outside users to pay a deposit, to make a minimum payment in advance or to pay a reasonable collection charge to cover costs that are collected by means of a civil suit (see, e.g., 26 Opns St Comp, 1970, p 34; 11 Opns St Comp, 1955, p 195). In addition, should the town in which the outside properties are located form a water district (see, gen., Town Law, articles 12 and 12-A), the village, in lieu of providing water to individual outside users, may contract with the town for the provision of water to the district (Village Law §11-1120; Town Law §198[3][b]).
       
       
       90-61
       
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      LOCAL LAWS -- Preemption (financing town improvement districts)
      IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS -- Assessments (authority to impose benefit assessments in water supply district) -- Water Supply Districts (authority to impose benefit assessments)
      WATER SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION -- Water Supply Districts (abolishment and reestablishment as water district); (authority to impose benefit assessments or user fees)
       
      TOWN LAW, §§202(3), 202-a(1): A town may assess the costs of establishing and maintaining a water supply district only on an ad valorem basis, and not on a benefit basis. Also, a town may not establish a system of user fees to finance the costs of a water supply district.
       

      You ask whether the costs of establishing and of operating and maintaining a town water supply district must be assessed only on an ad valorem basis.
       
      Town Law, §§202 and 202-a provide the manner in which assessments shall be raised in town special districts established pursuant to Town Law, Articles 12 and 12-A. Subdivision 3 of section 202 provides that the expenses of establishment of a water supply district shall be raised on an ad valorem basis. Town Law, §202-a(1) provides that the cost of operation and maintenance of such a district shall be raised in the same manner as the cost of establishment, that is, on an ad valorem basis. There is no authority in the Town Law, however, to assess the cost of a water supply district on a benefit basis (cf. Town Law, §§202[3], 202-a, authorizing the assessment of the costs of a water district on a benefit basis under certain circumstances). Also, we note that there is no authority in the Town Law to establish a system of user fees to be paid by customers of a water supply district to finance the cost of such a district (cf. Town Law, §198[3][d], authorizing the establishment of user fees for water districts).
       
      Further, it is our opinion that a town may not, by local law, provide for the imposition of benefit assessments or user fees to finance the costs of water supply districts. The State Legislature, by enacting provisions in Articles 12 and 12-A for financing town improvement districts, has created a comprehensive legislative scheme and evinced an intent to pre-empt the area of financing for improvement districts (Coconato v Town of Esopus, 152 AD2d 39, 547 NYS2d 953 lv den 76 NY2d 701, 558 NYS2d 891; 1986 Opns St Comp No. 86-53, p 89; see also Municipal Home Rule Law, §10[1][ii][d][3], which precludes a town from superseding provisions of the Town Law relating to special or improvement districts).
       
      While a town may assess the costs of a water supply district only on an ad valorem basis, as noted above, the costs of a town water district, under certain circumstances, may be assessed on a benefit basis and the town board may establish a system of user fees to finance costs of the water district. In this regard, we note that Town Law, §207 prescribes a procedure for the town board of any town in which a water supply district was established prior to January 1, 1934 to reestablish such a water supply district as a water district.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
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