Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Category Archives: Assessors

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New Decision Prevents Town in Coordinated Assessment Program from Dodging Assessor Removal Procedures

Posted in Assessors
A recent decision provides greater protection against removal of assessors. On December 3, 2015, the Third Department in Rubeor v. Town of Wright addressed an issue of first impression: can a member of a coordinated assessment program (“CAP”) opt out before the expiration of the assessor’s term? The Third Department concluded that, although statutorily a… Continue Reading

High Court Affirms Theater, Church’s Entitlement to State’s “Mandatory” Property Tax Exemption

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, Real Property Tax Refund
The Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, recently published decisions in the Maetreum of Cybele v. McCoy and Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Inc. v. Auburn cases.  In these decisions, the Court affirmed that the exemptions provided to religious and charitable organizations by RPTL Section 420-a apply to residential property owned and used to house the organizations’ congregation members or… Continue Reading

High Court Hears A Pair of RPTL § 420-a Cases on October 21, 2014

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, Uncategorized
We’re starting off our new blog season after a bit of a break with a recap of two key exemption cases that will be making waves again soon. Specifically, on October 21, 2014 the New York Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in two cases that could alter the landscape of tax exemptions under Real Property Tax Law… Continue Reading

Fourth Amendment precludes Inspection of Private Property even in Assessment Review Litigation

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Valuation
Recently there has been increasing debate regarding if and when assessing jurisdictions, or its agents, can invade the privacy of New York residents. Even New York’s governor has been impacted by this issue. Last week, the Appellate Division, Second Department weighed in on the very issue of privacy and taxation. Specifically, the issue in Jacobowitz v. Board of Assessors of Cornwall… Continue Reading

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal,  the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real property tax exemption under 420-a.  See Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc. v. McCoy 975 N.Y.S.2d 251.  In our previous… Continue Reading

New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
In an unexpected turn of events, the New York State Appellate Division, Third Department recently held in favor of a newly founded pagan religion seeking a real property tax exemption. In 1999, Rev. Mother Cathryn Platine founded the religion Maetreum of Cybele, which focuses on the obligation to do charitable works and the belief that the… Continue Reading

Superstorm Sandy Downstate Tax Relief

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Valuation
Time is running out for eligible counties and municipalities to provide tax relief to property owners affected by Superstorm Sandy. On October 22, 2013, Governor Cuomo signed the Superstorm Sandy Assessment Relief Act (“Assessment Relief Act”). The Assessment Relief Act aims to provide property tax relief to property owners that are still trying to recover from the… Continue Reading

WITA Tackles What Happens When Government Puts Tax Cuts Ahead of Assessment Equity

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
On September 25, 2013, 60 women from across New York State convened to hear from Assemblywoman Sandy Galef  concerning the Legislature’s attempts to rectify New York’s real property tax law woes. However, it was not a forum centered around tax cuts and tax breaks – which is certainly the more popular and media-focused topic across… Continue Reading

It’s Grievance Time?

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Uncategorized
Surprise! Yeah, it’s grievance time for most towns and some cities in New York (May 28th is “the day”).  Awhile ago we blogged about what to do about your assessment if you think it is unfair or excessive or you’ve been short-changed on an exemption. Now, here’s what not to do. 1. Don’t say that your assessment is too high… Continue Reading

Update: NYSUT Makes Good On Litigation Threat

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, School Districts, Valuation
On February 19th, 2013, the New York State Teacher’s Union (NYSUT) made good on its threat to challenge Cuomo’s property tax cap on schools by commencing an action in Supreme Court. The lawsuit, spearheaded by a plaintiffs group composed of teachers, taxpayers, and even parents, alleges in a 50-page complaint how Cumo’s tax cap harms school districts that serve low-income areas (creates… Continue Reading

Op Ed from Syracuse’s Mayor, Stephanie Minor, Hints That RPTL Reform Is Needed

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, School Districts, Valuation
A recent New York Time’s Op Ed post on February 13, 2013 from City of Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Minor, states that “the model of using property taxes to finance schools, police, fire, sanitation and other services is no longer sustainable.” For years, we have heard from assessors, attorneys and appraisers heavily involved in assessment litigation that NYS needs to find another way… Continue Reading

Counties Taking An Active Roll In Property Tax Appeals – Why It Has Taken So Long

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Settlement
“The times they are a-changin'”. In our field, this is best evidenced by upstate New York counties taking an active roll in defending property tax assessment appeals. Although counties in upstate New York have no assessment function and generally are responsible for only a fraction of any property tax refunds owed, lately it seems as though counties feel like they have been hung out to dry (or so… Continue Reading

NY’s Only Women In (tax) Assessment Group Discusses the Politics of Revaluations

Posted in Assessments, Assessors
New York’s only group for women in the field of property valuation and property tax assessment met on November 14, 2012 to discuss the politics of town-wide property reassessments and revaluations. During the session, which was transmitted via video conferencing to several sites across New York State, assessors Heather Garner and Lezli Parsons, and Cayuga County… Continue Reading

Nassau Taxpayers Expecting Refunds May Have to Wait Until 2013 for Relief

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Settlement
On August 8, 2012 Nassau County filed a Notice of Appeal, which stayed Judge Thomas Adams’ Order that required the County to pay property tax refunds within 60 days, or risk having its bank accounts seized. While the County stated it filed the notice of appeal to preserve its rights, the appeal only prolongs the inevitable: the County must return to its… Continue Reading

Trimming the Tree of Knowledge: New York’s Reduction in Assessor Education Requirements

Posted in Assessors, Valuation
Despite the objection of the New York State Assessor’s Association and many assessors across New York State, New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance (“DTF”) recently adopted a rule that reduced by half the number of required continuing education credit hours for assessors and county directors from 24 to 12 a year. See 9 NYCRR 188-2.8. The rule went into effect on… Continue Reading

Picking Up the Pieces: The Hurricane Irene & Tropical Storm Lee Assessment Relief Act

Posted in Assessments, Assessors
The Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee Assessment Relief Act allows  taxing jurisdictions to provide relief to property owners that were “catastrophically impacted” (i.e., property that lost 50% or more of its value) by the aforementioned storms.  This Act is unique because it allows property owners to have their property reassessed on the 2011 assessment roll… Continue Reading