Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Category Archives: Valuation

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A School District’s Standing Might Not Be As Clear As We Had Thought

Posted in Assessments, School Districts, Valuation
In 2012 we reported on a decision affirming the conclusion that school districts lack standing to “question the assessments or the method of arriving at the assessed valuation.” Xerox v. Town of Webster, 131 Misc. 2d 817 (Monroe Cty. Sup. Ct. 1986). However, a recent Appellate Division decision suggests otherwise. In Matter of Glens Falls… Continue Reading

Part 2: …But In the Fourth Department, Repeat Filings Are Not Required?

Posted in Assessments, Settlement, Uncategorized, Valuation
In Part 1 of this discussion, we highlighted the Appellate Division, Third Department’s holdings on RPTL’s “freeze” provision in the Highbridge Broadway, LLC v City of Schenectady and Scellen v City of Glens Falls cases. As you’ll recall, these Third Department cases held that property owners must annually file a grievance and petition to preserve their right to an assessment reduction (and any refunds) for the additional… Continue Reading

How low can you go? Here’s a Clue: RPTL 720(1)

Posted in Assessments, Valuation
  As The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center was gearing up for it’s New Year’s Eve celebration, on December 31, 2014, the Appellate Division (Third Department) handed down a decision in  Village Square of Penna, Inc. v Board of Assessment Review/Town of Colonie. This decision stemmed from the trial court’s September 2013 order granting Petitioner’s (aka,… 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

Is Property Tax Reform Finally Coming to New York?

Posted in Assessments, Valuation
In November 2013, Governor Cuomo released the Final Report of the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission regarding tax reform. One week later, the New York State Senate Republican Conference Tax Policy Review & Reform Initiative issued a Preliminary Report regarding the same issue. Among other tax reforms, each report recommended action to reform New… 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

Are Property Taxes Your Handicap? How Course Assessments Affect Your Green Fees

Posted in Assessments, Valuation
Mother nature played more than a few double bogies with the weather here in New York this summer, keeping golfers and greens keepers across the region on their toes (and, more frequently, on the cart paths only). Weather-dependent business enterprises like golf courses, ski resorts and theme parks in upstate New York have a rough time depending on the weather for their… Continue Reading

Q: What’s An Appraisal Without Facts, Figures, Calculations? A: Not Admissible

Posted in Condemnation/Eminent Domain, Utilities, Valuation
  In Central New York Oil & Gas, LLC v Porto Bagle, Inc.  (decided May 2, 2013), the Third Department rejected Petitioner’s appraisal report because both the report and the appraiser’s testimony failed to provide the “facts, figures or calculations” used to determine the value of the Property. The CNYOG decision forces us to review what’s appropriate under 22 NYCRR… 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

The Impact of Environmental Contamination on Assessed Value

Posted in Assessments, Valuation
Property owners should be aware of the impact that contamination plays in assessing the value of their property for tax purposes. It is frequently the case that assessed value does not take contamination into account.  For this reason, owners whose land suffers from contamination may well be entitled to an assessment reduction. The New York State Constitution… Continue Reading

Weight vs. Sufficency: What’s Required of Appriaser under 202.59 Comes Under Attack

Posted in Assessments, Valuation
If you are anything like me, you miss the ORPTS Reporter and the days when you’d see lengthy decisions from Hons. Thomas A. Dickerson and John R. LaCava that methodically and meticulously reviewed various portions of the Real Property Tax Law (“RPTL”). So, I get a little excited when the Appellate Division hands down a 9-page decision… 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

Fiber Optic Cables Are Not Taxable Real Property

Posted in Assessments, Utilities, Valuation
As discussed in our prior post, cows might be considered assessable or taxable real property under Section 102(12) of the Real Property Tax Law. See RCN v. Frankel, (1st Dept. 2012). However, fiber optic cables are not assessable real property under the same statute. At least that is what the First Department concluded in RCN NY Communications, LLC v. Tax… Continue Reading

The Legal Definiton of Real Property – Is The Law Evolving At The Same Rate As Technology?

Posted in Assessments, Utilities, Valuation
Are cows assessable real property under RPTL 102(12)(f)? Sounds ridiculous, but a recent ruling by the First Department could result in the answer to this question being “yes.” In November, the First Department analyzed  the scope of “power generating apparatus” under RPTL 102(12)(f) in RCN Telecom Services of New York, LP v. Frankel (2012 NY Slip Op 07890, 1st Dept. November… Continue Reading

What’s wrong with Real Property Tax Law Section 727?

Posted in Assessments, Settlement, Valuation
  Real Property Tax Law Section 727 – the “freeze” period after a property assessment appeal is settled or a judicial decision is issued that reduces the assessment. The goal of Section 727 is two-fold: first, it prevents assessors from changing an assessment (more likely, increasing an assessment) during the term of the freeze unless there is a revaluation, improvements/demolition, or occupancy changes in excess of 25%,… 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

School Districts Lack Standing to Challenge Assessed Valuation

Posted in Assessments, School Districts, Valuation
New York’s Real Property Tax Law (“RPTL”) provides that “[f]or the purpose of the levy and collection of school taxes, the valuations of real property shall be ascertained from the latest final assessment roll of the city or town.” What if a school district is unhappy with the valuations of real property established by the city or… Continue Reading