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Typical Flow of Parcel Data in New York State

An important part of this reconnaissance study involved tracing the flow of parcel data among disparate users and uses. Figure 1 depicts the typical flow of parcel data in New York State which can be characterized by both regular and ad-hoc processes. Much data flows regularly and systematically through the real property tax system, as shown by the solid arrows in Figure 1. However, all other data flows tend to be one-by-one, ad-hoc transactions between individual requesters and various data sources. These are represented by the broken arrows in the figure. (Click anywhere on Figure 1 to view larger image.)


In the systematic data flow, the County Clerk sends deeds and sales documents (form RP-5217) to the County Real Property Tax Services (RPTS) office and copies of the sales information to ORPS. Mostly through field work, assessors collect and update assessment and attribute data for parcels in their municipalities. Assessors also receive construction and improvement information directly from municipal building departments. Assessors merge sales, ownership, inventory, improvement, and assessment information and submit it annually to the county RPTS which prepares tax maps and annually submits assessment rolls to ORPS at the state level. Data exchanges occur among all three levels of government to communicate changes and corrections for purposes of real property tax administration. In addition, ORPS annually sends statewide data (both centroid and selected parcel attributes) to the NYS GIS Clearinghouse.

In general, the ad-hoc data flow exemplifies access and use of parcel data for all purposes other than real property tax administration. At each stage of data flow, any number of individuals or public, private, or non-profit organizations request parcel data. Typically requests are directed to assessors, County RPTS offices, and ORPS, with counties receiving the largest proportion. These requests are not made on a systematic basis, but rather depend on the needs of the requester. Typically, each request is treated as a separate transaction.