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Tax Mapping

A tax map is a special purpose map, accurately drawn to scale showing all the real property parcels within a city, town, or village. These maps are used to locate parcels and obtain other information required in assessment work. The size, shape, and dimensions (or acreage) of a parcel may be found on a tax map. Tax maps are primarily used by local governments to maintain a current inventory of all parcels in a city, town, or village.

Why Digital Tax Maps?

While our tax maps were developed for assessment purposes, digital mapping information has a wide variety of uses. The map data offered here, when combined with other Graphical Information System (GIS) data, could form the basic building blocks for displaying and using all types of location-based information in the County of Niagara.

The Department of Real Property Tax Services maintains the tax maps covering all municipalities within Niagara County and provides updated maps to local assessors. The maps indicate property lines, right of way lines, property dimensions and acreage, stream, and lake boundaries, special district lines, and Section - Block - Lot information.

Niagara County has 3 cities, 12 towns and 5 villages

Mapping Products We Offer (see Fee Schedules for cost)

  • RPTS Fee Schedule 
  • Digital Fees/Request Form 
  • Hard Copy (Paper) Maps: There are about 1050 map sheets or tax maps for the County of Niagara. Cities, being more densely populated, have more tax maps than rural area towns or villages and likewise are drawn at a larger scale (1”=50’ or 1”=100’) than rural areas (1”=400’, 1”=200’, and some 1”=50’).
  • We can print/plot full size 30”x 42” tax maps – can be obtained via mail or from our office
  • We will photocopy (parcel shot) tax maps on 8 1/2” x 11” – available in our office, via mail or fax
  • PDF files: Acronym for Portable Document Format. All 1050 map sheets have been saved as pdf files easily readable by Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader is a free download available at www.adobe.com 
  • GIS shapefiles: Shapefiles are extremely user-friendly with software such as ArcView or ArcExplorer. Endless attribute information can be added to enhance further queries. As of 2006, taxmaps are maintained with ESRI’s GIS geodatabase design known as ArcGIS 9.1 ArcEditor. Concurrent with taxable status dates, the parcel-poly feature class is exported as a shapefile, which creates the following 6 files: 
    • .dbf file - A database file format in format dBase (III or IV) which keeps additional information per shape. It must contain as much records as shapes in the shp (otherwise the map does not open). The records belong to the shapes sequentially, thus the 1., 2., 3. record belongs to the 1., 2., 3. shape in the shp. If you edit the dbf using a third party tool and mess around with the records this order will be lost, as the shp does not know that the dbf exists. 
    • .prj file - Your prj file would be named exactly like your shapefile. If you want to open the .prj use notepad or similar to open it up, copy and paste and or modify it. The .prj file describes the current projection of the data - it does not do a projection, or datum shift, of the data to a new projection or datum. 
    • .sbn (spatial bin) file- Divides the area of .shp file in rectangular areas (bins). Each bin contains the numbers record of the features in the .shp file that fall in its area. 
    • .sbx (spatial bin index) file - contains rows. Each rows in the .sbx file contains the record number and the length in bytes of the corresponding bin record in the .sbn file. It's a length-fixed (function by lookup table) 
    • .shp file - The .shp contains basically the vertices of all entities. The vertices are organized hierarchically in shapes, parts, and points. The .shp also contains information, on how to read the vertices, as points, lines, or polygons. (shp is your points, lines, and polygon geometry) 
    • .shx file - To find the shapes faster, there is the shx-file, which stores an index to each shape. Very simply, the .shx file links the proper record in the .dbf database file to the proper line segment or polygon in the .shp file. If the .shp is fine, this tool can generate the .shx file if it is missing: http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=10806 
  • RPS Point Shapefiles (includes ownership): RPS Point Shapefiles contain about 60 Real Property Service ( database extract/shapefile) data fields, including swiss code, print key, owner, address, property class, building style, sfla, grade, condition, year built, neighborhood code, school code, assessment, coordinate locators, municipality, site number, last sale/date/price/book/page, front foot, depth, acres, and additional exploded valuation data. This data can be purchased alone or joined with the above GIS shapefiles. All data is concurrent with taxable status dates.
  • RPS.DB – RPS.LOG: all assessment roll file information on a CD

All digital files are available in CD form, by e-mail, by FTP, or with customer supplied Flash Drive. Prepayment is required. Request form available above. 

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