Client Alert: Changes to Property Tax Grievance Procedures in Westchester County
On April 20, 2020, Gov. Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.22, making some important changes to property tax grievance procedures in New York State and Westchester County in particular.
EO 202.22 permits the Cities and Towns of Westchester County to move the date to file property tax grievance back one month, and allows Boards of Assessment Review to conduct their hearings remotely, if necessary.
In Westchester, the Tentative Assessment Roll for the Towns, and a number of Cities, is ordinarily published On June 1. Any property owner in such a municipality then has until the third Tuesday of June to file a grievance asking the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) to reduce the Assessment (“Grievance Day”). The filing of a grievance is a necessary prerequisite to filing a court challenge in the event the BAR does not reduce the assessment or if the property owner does not consider the reduction sufficient.
EO 202.22 now permits a Town to move back, by up to 30 days (i.e., from June 1 to July 1, 2020), the date on which the Tentative Assessment Roll is published, and to also move Grievance Day back up to one month as well. Note, however, that the Cities and Towns are not required to move the dates back. It is therefore important for every property owner to be aware of the dates adopted in the Town or City in which their property is located.
In addition, the Governor’s Order mandates that municipalities take steps necessary to permit property owners to review the 2020 Tentative Assessment Roll without having to physically visit a town hall in order to conduct such a review. The Order also permits the BARs to alter the rules governing their hearings, including conducting the hearings remotely to ensure that the hearings can be conducted fairly but safely.
If you have any questions about how EO 202.22 may affect you as a property owner, or concerning property taxes in general, please contact the attorneys in our Tax Certiorari, Condemnation and Valuation Department.