Historian's Office


Site map


Town Assessment Rolls

Local governments in New York State derive their ability to provide services from their power to tax real property. Responsibility for compiling information on property ownership, determining property valuations and preparing the annual assessment roll is placed in the hands of the town assessor. Because towns that include all or a portion of villages must provide some services to the inhabitants of those villages, town assessment rolls include information on all properties within their boundaries, whether inside or outside an incorporated village. Properties within Yates County's four villages were assessed with their respective towns, so separate rolls do not necessarily exist for them. In each year's roll, property owners are listed alphabetically by the initial letter of the surname. 

The County has the original copy of some assessment rolls from all towns beginning in 1890, though no series in this collection is complete until after 1916. Some of the towns have retained books from the missing years, and some have assessment rolls dating from much earlier. All existing Yates County town tax rolls up through 1972 are on microfilm, and may be viewed at the county seat, at the respective town office, or at the New York State Library in Albany. 

Assessment rolls contain different information, depending on the year they were made. Following is a chronological summary of the data collected by the towns when drawing up their tax rolls: 

1866-1873 Name of property owner, description of the property (whether a house and lot, tavern, store, mill, swampland, etc.), acreage and amount of tax; a fine was levied for nonattendance at Military Parade; a separate roll was kept listing persons owning or harboring dogs. 

1874-1900 Name of taxable inhabitant, acreage, description of property, value of real and taxable personal property, amount of tax; separate lists of dog owners and those paying scraper tax as well. 

1900-1905 Same information, plus a column for special franchises and exempt property. 

1906-1910 For residents: name of taxable person, description and acreage of property, value per acre, full value of real and taxable personal property, value of rents, special franchises, exempt property, value of property inside and outside incorporated villages, highway and poll taxes, town and county taxes, number of dogs and dog taxes; for nonresidents: name of tract (if not named, its boundaries), number of unoccupied lots, quantity, value of property inside and outside incorporated villages, highway tax, town and county tax, name of owner; for incorporated companies: name of company, amount of capital stock, amount paid for real estate, surplus profits or reserve funds, value of special franchises, value of property inside and outside villages. 

1911 Similar, introduces tax for brush cutting. 

1912-1915 Similar, description of property now includes abuttors (some towns describe buildings on property), villages are named (some unincorporated hamlets); separate rolls for Personal Property and Special Francises. 

1916-1923 Similar, location of property includes abuttors, name of village and name or number of school district, special taxes include fire districts, highway tax, brush and weed tax, dog tax; separate rolls for Public Service Corporations, Special Franchises and Personal Property. No dog tax after 1916. 

1924-1927 Similar, description of property includes name of street or road and which side; separate rolls for Public Service Corporations, Special Francises and Personal Property (mainly goods in stores). 

1928-1953 Similar, value of buildings and land without buildings is separately calculated; separate rolls for Public Service Corporations, Special Franchises, Personal Property and Exempt Property (including pensioners, schools, hospitals, churches, cemeteries etc.). No brush and weed tax after 1933. 

1954-1972 Name and mailing address of owner; location of property including abuttors, codes for school district and character of the property (residential, commercial, farm, cottage, vacant, etc.), and number of acres or dimensions of the lot; assessed valuation, figured for land, buildings, special districts and exemptions; amount of tax and date paid; separate schedules for property inside and outside villages, partially and wholly exempt properties, property owned by the state or county, special franchises, public service corporations and special districts. 


1890-1972 (missing 1896-8, 1900-7 and 1913) 

1866 - 1972 

1866-1972 (missing 1868) 

1866-1972 (missing 1868-70, 1883, 1887, 1900, 1904) 

1890-1972 (missing 1899-1907, 1913) 

1890-1902 (missing 1894, 1897, 1899-1901, 1903-7, 1913) 

1868-1972 (missing 1892, 1913) 

1890-1972 (missing 1893-5, 1898-1907, 1913) 

1890-1972 (missing 1896-1907, 1913)