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Tax Certiorari & Condemnation Proceedings

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Supreme Court Justice
John R. La Cava

New York State Supreme Court
111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
White Plains, N.Y. 10601


Matter of Longridge Associates L. P. (Claimant) v. Metropolitan Transit Authority(Condemnor)
Date of Decision: December 4, 2012

[Condemnation/Eminent Domain]
[In this EDPL Article 5 proceeding, the subject property was taken by MTA in Eminent Domain as part of Metro North Railroad?s Brewster North (now "Southeast") Station and Commuter Parking Lot Expansion Project. Condemnor?s appraiser rejected not only commercial, but all other proposed uses - residential, retail, hotel, and industrial - and selected ?holding for future speculative use? as the highest and best use of the property. Based on the belief that poor location, wetlands encroachment (for which mitigation was deemed unavailable), and lack of access prevented development of the subject, condemnor's appraiser chose only comparable properties which could not be developed, and arrived at a conclusion of market value for the property of $700,000. The Court however rejected Condemnor's methodology and concluded, based on the expert testimony and other evidence presented, and based on the accessibility of the parcel, its generally level topography, and its significant size (approximately 52 acres, of which at least 40%, and arguably approximately 50%, is likely unaffected by the presence of wetlands), as well as the presence nearby of a significant wetlands mitigation parcel, that the proposal to build a retail development was physically possible at the subject location. Additionally, based on the fact that the granting of a special permit for such development was deemed likely - given the expert testimony that retail development was a permitted use; that the Town was favorably disposed towards such a use; that the plan met or would meet all municipal requirements; and that such permits are routinely granted, the Court determined that claimant met its burden of demonstrating the reasonable probability of its proposed highest and best use, as a retail development, as of the date of the title vesting, and ordered that MTA pay as compensation to claimant the amount of $4,375,000.00, with interest from the date of the taking less any amounts previously paid, together with costs and allowances as provided by law.]


Matter of Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc. (Claimant) v. City of Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (Condemnor)
Date of Decision: November 28, 2012

[Condemnation/Eminent Domain]
[In this EDPL Article 5 proceeding, Con Ed's ± 7 acres of property was utilized for operation of high-voltage electrical transmission and distribution lines and an electric substation. The Yonkers IDA took a portion of the property (consisting of a fee taking of 5.45 acres, a permanent easement of 1.17 acres, and a temporary easement taking of .83 acres) to permit construction of two roads, which ran generally from Tuckahoe Road across the condemned portions of the parcel to the Ridge Hill mixed residential and commercial development - Ridge Hill Boulevard, which was built specifically as an access route for the Ridge Hill project, and New Road. The taking did not affect the operation of the substation at the site which receives electrical power generated elsewhere, and directs it to various locations in Yonkers or in New York City. In this post trial D & O, the Court found that claimant's appraiser's original opinion, as set forth in his trial appraisal, was that the highest and best use of the property was both the current use (for utility purposes), and for road access from Tuckahoe Road on the south to the Ridge Hill development adjacent to the north. At trial, however, he altered his opinion, and concluded that the highest and best use of the property was only road access. The Court determined that claimant's appraiser violated several principles of condemnation appraisal. His rejection of the current use (utility) of the property violated the principle which holds that, in order to determine damages, the value of the property must be appraised before and after the taking. He did not determine the before and after value of the parcel because he failed to properly determine the full extent (or size) of the parcel before the taking occurred, violating yet another principle. He also, in his analysis, violated the ?scope of the project? rule in valuing the subject. It is clear from the testimony that the Con Ed taking was considered by the Ridge Hill project developers as a parcel necessary to be taken for the benefit of the project. The Ridge Hill parcel, however, was taken first, and only afterwards was the Con Ed parcel taken. Pursuant to United States v. Miller, 317 U.S. 369, Con Ed may not benefit from the road access now available because of the Ridge Hill taking. Condemnor?s appraiser, on the other hand, both opined in his report, and testified at trial, that the highest and best use of the property was that to which it had been and was being put, namely utility use. Thus, claimant's methodology was rejected, and condemnor's highest and best use and his methodology generally were accepted with the Court employing its own methodology, and adjusting where necessary to arrive at its valuation and total award of $1,715,000 with interest for the fee taking and permanent and temporary easements.]


Matter of Edward Carroll v. City of Rye
Date of Decision: November 21, 2012

[Tax Certiorari]
[In this post-trial RPTL Article 7 Tax Certiorari matter, between 2002 and 2004 Petitioner constructed an approximately 5,000 square foot home on waterfront property which had been gifted from his family. The total costs of construction listed on the final affidavit of costs were listed at $1,448,210. In 2003 and 2004, the assessor visited the property during the construction cycle, and variously estimated the percentage of completion of the improvements. She then adjusted market valuations and her assessments of the property as improved by the new residence. The City thus alleged as its methodology that, since the improvements were "newly created", the property was to be valued with reference to the market by the assessor. Upon analysis, the Court found that the property was selectively assessed, since there was no evidence that a municipal wide re-assessment had taken place in 2003, and the assessor failed to appropriately explain and justify the changes made to the assessments of the subject property during the years at issue. Having found that the reassessments conducted by the assessor in 2003 and 2004 constituted selective reassessment, the Court concluded that Assessed Values for 2003 and 2004 consisted not only of the 2003 assessment, but also the sum of the assessed land values for each of 2003 and 2004, plus the equalized value of the improvements for those years.]


Matter of Target #1954 v. The Town of Mt. Kisco, et al
Date of Decision: November 19, 2012

[Tax Certiorari]
[In this post-trial RPTL Article 7 Tax Certiorari matter, while both parties agreed that the Income Capitalization Method is the proper technique for determining valuation, the Court elected to place greater reliance on the methodology employed by petitioner's appraiser, as modified appropriately by the Court. While petitioner's appraiser only minimally adjusted his comparable leases, the Town's appraiser chose to extensively adjust for conditions, so that, with the exception of one of the comparable properties, his adjustments ranged from - 35% to 45%. Such a range of adjustments, in the Court's opinion, calls into question whether the comparable properties are indeed ?comparable.? In addition, on several occasions his methodological reasoning for some adjustments, such as the functional utility of the two shared comparable properties, failed to apply to other, similarly-situated properties. Furthermore, it is clear from his testimony that, on more than one occasion, he failed to consult all of the leases for the properties which were the basis of his analysis. And, finally, as petitioner pointed out, his analysis of the two properties which they had in common, was vastly different from petitioner, particularly by the above-mentioned extensive adjustments to value contributing substantially to the higher values he derived. Based on extensive analysis, Final Market Values, determined to be well within in the range of testimony, for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010 were determined to be $20,000,000, $17,000,000, and $18,200,000, respectively.]


Matter of Split Rock Partnership v. ROCKLAND COUNTY SEWER DISTRICT NO. 1
Date of Decision: November 13, 2012

[Condemnation/Eminent Domain]
[The subject property, consisting of 64± acres of vacant land in the Village of Hillburn, Town of Ramapo, Rockland County, was taken in Eminent Domain by Condemnor RCSD#1. In this post-trial D & O, the Court awarded $8.1 Million to petitioner after adopting Petitioner's proposed highest and best use of the property for commercial development of an office building, and rejecting condemnor's argument that holding for future speculative use constituted the highest and best use of the property. Here, the expert testimony adduced that, based on the accessibility of the parcel, its generally level topography in the developable area, and its significant size - over 64 acres - the proposal to build commercial building, a multi-level office structure, was physically possible at the subject location. Further, the grant of a zoning change from residential to commercial development was deemed likely, given the Village’s development interests, and the expert testimony that the plan either met the Village’s requirements, or, particularly regarding the slope of the access road, the Village’s requirements could be circumvented by use of a private road. There was also testimony that petitioner had entered into a contract with Wilder in November 2004, for $10,000,000, for construction of an office complex on the subject property which demonstrated that a significant likelihood existed of the project being economically profitable, and that the project was deemed to be a productive use of the subject.]


Matter of Steven L. Greenberg v. The Assessor of the Town of Scarsdale, et al
Date of Decision: July 25, 2012

[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner owned two tax lots (#993 and #957). In 2008, he was told by the assessor that during 2005, 2006, and 2007 he had paid the assessment on Lot #993 twice as it had been previously added to and paid with the assessment on Lot #957. On the assessor's recommendation, he filed a Correction of Errors application with the Commissioner. The matter was referred to the Mayor who, based on the Commissioner's recommendation, denied the apparently meritorious application for Lack of Clerical Error. Rejecting the Town's actions, the Court held pursuant to RPTL §556(4)(b), the matter should have been referred to the Village Board, as the tax levying body, rather than the Mayor. The claims relating to the over payments were remanded to the Board for re-consideration at its next scheduled meeting - with leave to renew if necessary. Other claims were dismissed for other reasons. These included non-Article 7 claims being dismissed for improper joinder in the Tax Certiorari Part - with leave to recommence separate actions in the proper forum.]


Matter of Westchester Joint Water Works v Assessor of the City of Rye
Date of Decision: July 24, 2012

[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by the Rye Neck School District to dismiss 2002-2010 petitions granted; cross-motion by petitioner for leave to recommence actions pursuant to CPLR § 205(a) denied. Petitioner here argued that the absence of a proper description of subject tax lot 200-1-9 on the roll, and the failure of the property to appear on the tax map, both led to improper notice and, coupled with petitioner's " “reasonably diligent efforts” should excuse the failure to serve the proper superintendent. The City argued in response that the roll fully conforms with rules of the State Department of Taxation and Finance since the parcel involves water pipes, and is, thus, considered non-situs property, not capable of geographic identification. Such property, in accordance with state guidelines, is represented on the tax roll with a pseudo Section, Block, and Lot (SBL); this was done with the instant parcel, SBL 200-1-9, being designated with a pseudo SBL. Although the Court indicated its concern with the latter designation providing adequate notice, it nonetheless found that petitioner was provided with a clear indication that the Rye Neck School District served the 200-1-9 tax parcel by two (2) separate tax bills that had been previously served each year by the City and the School District respectively. Because of such express notice, petitioners non-service cannot be viewed as “reasonable”, per Wyeth, nor can counsel's efforts at service be deemed “reasonably diligent” per Copley Court, so as to excuse the failure to properly notice the Rye Neck School Superintendent with regard to challenging assessments to parcel 200-1-9.]


VILLAGE OF BREWSTER v. MERRIEWEATHER ESTATES
Date of Decision: May 14,2012

[Condemnation]
[In order to install underground sewer pipes, a section of the subject property measuring approximately 1,985 square feet and running through the center of the parcel was taken in eminent domain. Claimant's appraiser testified that the highest and best use (pre-taking) of the residentially zoned vacant parcel was "single family residential", despite the fact that, at 5,710 square feet, it fell well below the 7,500 minimum lot size required by the 1991 Village Zoning Code. The Village's appraiser opined that, because of its non-conformity with the 1991 Code, coupled with its non-accessability owing to its "land locked" location (determined by a viewing during which the parcel and its surroundings were snow covered), the highest and best use of the subject was as an "assemblage parcel". Claimant's appraiser agreed with the latter assessment, but argued that the subject's status was reduced to "assemblage" usage only post-taking, after a center strip, measuring approximately a third of the property, was excised by the partial condemnation. In this post trial decision, the Court agreed with claimant's appraiser as to highest and best use and valuation, based on his opinions that the property, which pre-dated the 1991 Code, not only fronted on a public street (albeit unpaved and unimproved), but also met all minimum size, depth, and width requirements of the Code, which contains a grandfather clause permitting the use and improvement of pre-existing, dimensionally non-conforming lots. In addition, testimony in the record from the assessor of the Town of Southeast established that notwithstanding the fact that prior to 2005 the Putnam County Board of Health had denied applications for approval of sanitary facilities on certain undersized lots, in or about 2005 the State of New York determined that undersized lots could not be deemed unbuildable solely due to the lots being considered too small to support sanitary facilities. Based on that determination, neighboring lots, including one immediately adjacent to the subject, were granted Board of Health approval, and the Village assessor, after 2005, increased the assessment of the subject from $45,000 to $117,500. As such, only site plan approval from the local Building Department would be required for development of the subject, as witnessed by the fact that one adjoining undersized lot (having obtained Board of Health and Building Department approvals) had already been improved with a duplex home.]


AMERICAN INDEPENDENT PAPER MILLS SUPPLY COMPANY, INC. v VILLAGE OF TARRYTOWN
Date of Decision: May 4, 2012

[Tax Certiorari]
[ At a pretrial conference in July, 2010, an oral agreement was reached, and certain terms were set forth, with regard to tax years 2004, 2007, and 2008. In October, 2010, in order to effect the settlement, petitioner sent a draft stipulation or proposed Consent Judgement to counsel for the Village, which latter counsel rejected as not consistent with his understanding of the agreement as related to tax year 2007. In December, 2010, a new draft Consent Judgement incorporating the Villages proposed changes to tax year 2007 was forwarded to respondents counsel. The Villages counsel amended the new draft stipulation/Consent Judgement to change the assessment for yet a different tax year, 2008, again in conformity with his understanding of the agreement. He then signed the now revised draft stipulation/Consent Judgement, and delivered it to prior counsel for petitioner. The latter, however, declined to sign it, and inquired, by letter dated several days later, why the changes were made. In February 2011, petitioners prior counsel then sent an appraisal to the Village, and by letter invited a conversation regarding a revised settlement in light of this new appraisal. Subsequently, petitioner also sought to have the matter restored to the trial calendar, but neglected to file a Note of Issue relating to tax year 2007 on or before April 30, 2011, the last date of the four year period within which a note of issue must be filed.
The instant matter involves motions by petitioner for an Order compelling specific performance of a settlement agreement and/or Consent Judgement, pursuant to CPLR 2104; or, in the alternative, for an Order nunc pro tunc extending the time within which to file a note of issue pursuant to RPTL 718 (1). The motions were denied with the Court finding that:
(a) The matter was abandoned since within the four-year period following the commencement of the action, the parties did not stipulate to extend the period, nor was there any application to the Court for an Order granting, on good cause shown, an extension of the time period; and (b) there was never any final agreement between the parties as to the terms of the Consent Judgement since the corrections made by the Village's attorney to petitioner's proposed Consent Judgement constituted a counter offer which was rejected by petitioner's attorney.]



Legion of Christ, Inc. v The Town of Mt. Pleasant
Date of Decision: December 16, 2011

[Tax Certiorari - Religious Exemption] [Petitioners brought a motion for an Order granting partial summary judgment on their petition seeking a religious exemption (for tax years 2002 and 2003) pursuant to RPTL §§ 420-a(1)(a) and 420-a (3). The Court found that petitioners met their initial burden of demonstrating entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, by showing that the parcel is and has for many years been used for religious, educational, and recreational purposes, by providing, as its application states, a place of “quiet meditation, reading, studying, and group discussions” for Roman Catholic priests, laymen, and seminarians, as well as an area for outdoor religious activities, including Stations of the Cross, a Rosary path, and a Grotto. In response, respondents asserted that no building permits were sought by petitioners for the work done, and therefore the described work, supportive of the religious use, had not been accomplished. The Court found such assertions to be meaningless, however, when the outdoor structures - the Grotto (a statue of Mary on a rock, surrounded by an open space for prayer), the Outdoor Chapel (an open area with movable benches, a stone altar, and a crucifix), and the Stations of the Cross (which were added to an already-existing path) - referred to by petitioners in their application, were not “buildings” within the meaning of §218-3 of the Zoning Code, and thus did not require building permits. Based on the above, and the inadequate assertions of the assessor, the Building Inspector, and the Police Chief, respondents failed to show the existence of any reasonable questions of fact on the issue of whether such uses actually took place, and petitioners' motion for partial summary judgement was granted.]


AAA Electricians, Inc. v. Village of Haverstraw
Date of Decision: December 9, 2011

[Condemnation - Highest and Best Use - Valuation]
[Post-trial Decision/Order/ Judgement in Claimant's EDPL Article 5 proceeding challenging the valuation of its 18.9 acre river front property by the Village. Condemnor/Village, urging that the highest and best use of the property was "light industrial" made an offer for the taking of $2,596,150. AAA, based upon the substantial size of the property, its excellent location with superb Hudson River views, and sewer and road access opined that its highest and best use was as a multi- family residential/condominium development. With a per unit valuation of $47,000, AAA estimated its total valuation to be $16,300,00. After a thorough analysis, the Court rejected the Village's methodology, conclusions, and comparable property evaluations and adopted AAA's highest and best use conclusion. Rather than a per unit calculation of value, the Court determined that a per acre analysis and calculation was more appropriate, and utilizing Claimant's comparable properties, but with modifications to a number of its adjustments, arrived at a final conclusion of value of $6,500,000.]


New York Funeral Chapels, Inc. v. the City of New Rochelle
Date of Decision: September 14, 2011

[Tax Certiorari]
[Property was originally purchased in 1970 by Frank E. Campbell - The Funeral Church, Inc. Article 7 petitions were filed in 2006 and 2007 by New York Funeral Chapels, Inc. (NYFC) and by Campbell Funeral Chapel, Inc., c/o SCI Funeral Services (Campbell/SCI) in 2008-2010. The City, alleging that Frank E Campbell was the true owner, moved to dismiss pursuant to CPLR §3211(3) for lack of standing of the latter two entities. The Court determined that the motion was untimely since the City did not file its objections until several months prior to the trial of the five years of petitions. Even if timely, the objections would fail since, upon analysis, (1) The petitions naming Campbell/SCI, were valid since they were the true owners of the property for the 2008-2010 tax years, and (2) the naming of NYFC , the manager of the premises and a subsidiary of the actual owning entity, is a technical defect, and thus is not only waivable but curable by amendment. Accordingly, the cross-motion by petitioner to amend the petitions relating to the 2006 and 2007 petitions, to substitute SCI Funeral Services, Inc. as petitioner on each, was granted.]


Matter of the Village of Spring Valley
Date of Decision: August 23, 2011

[Condemnation - Trade Fixtures Claim - Discovery - Motion to Compel Response to Interrogatories]
[Pursuant to prior Court Order, condemnor served a set of Interrogatories on claimants which sought, inter alia, trade fixture appraisals, mortgage applications, leases, certificates of occupancy, tax depreciation schedules, tax returns, surveys and building plans, and business loan applications. In response, claimants informed the Village that they were rejecting the Interrogatories in toto, alleging that said interrogatories included material which exceeded and was outside the scope of the Order. By the instant motion, the Village sought enforcement of the Order and sanctions for noncompliance with same, and Petitioner cross- moved to strike the interrogatories.
Condemnor's motion was granted to the extent indicated in the decision and otherwise denied; petitioner's cross-motion was denied in toto. The request for sanctions was denied with leave to renew in the event that there is any noncompliance with the instant decision and Order.]


Matter of The Stop and Shop Companies, Inc. v. Assessor of the City of New Rochelle, et al
Date of Decision: May 25, 2011
[Tax Certiorari]
[Respondent's motion to dismiss alleged that petitioner, as fractional lessee and not the true owner of the property, was not an aggrieved party, and therefore lacked capacity or standing to bring petitions in its own name. In response, petitioner asserted: (1) that (pursuant to Matter of Waldbaum v. City of New York) petitioner had standing since the lease gave petitioner either the right to require the landlord to bring an Article 7 proceeding or (as is the case here) to require the owner to permit the tenant upon its request to bring such a proceeding in its own name, and (2) that, in any event, respondents' motion was untimely and prejudicial since it was made on the eve of trial, between 2 1/2 and 5 years following the commencement of the various actions, at which time respondents were given actual notice that the petitions were brought in the name of the fractional lessee and not in the owner's name. Respondents' motion to dismiss the petitions was denied.]


Michael F. X. Ryan v. Town of Cortlandt, et al
Date of Decision: March 10, 2011
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioners motion for renewal and/or reargument, or for vacatur pursuant to CPLR 5015(a)(3) denied for the reasons stated in the decision. Petitioner's assertion that payment of a single filing fee to cover several consolidated matters constituted a new fact or facts justifying reargument and/or renewal of prior Order rejected. In addition, petitioner's failure to comply with R.P.T.L. 708(3) required dismissal (with regard to the school district) in two separate respects. He not only failed entirely to serve the Notice of Petition and Petition upon the School District, in violation of the statute, for three consecutive years, but he also failed to file affidavits of service of such notice with the Court within ten days of such mailing, again for three consecutive years.]


Matter of The Village of Spring Valley
Date of Decision: January 26, 2011
[Condemnation - Trade Fixtures Claim - Discovery - Interrogatories]
[Motion by the Village for discovery by way of the taking of depositions upon oral questions denied for lack of showing of necessity, however, as a matter of discretion, the Court allowed service of interrogatories upon the former fee owners of the parcels at issue, and the various trade fixture claimants related thereto, with respect to the cost, design, acquisition, dates of installation, manner of installation, operation, maintenance, and use of the fixtures alleged to be compensable.]

Megamat Laundromat, Inc. v. The Village Of Port Chester
Date of Decision: January 10, 2011
[Condemnation - Trade Fixtures Claim - EDPL §701 Application]
[Claimant brought the instant motion for additional allowances pursuant to EDPL §701. The trial court's finding of $1,104,026 as the current sound value of the trade fixtures was reversed and remitted for recalculation, with the Appellate Division finding the court's total CSV award (nearly twice the original cost for constructing and equipping the entire laundromat approximately four years earlier) to be a "windfall." Upon remand, the trial court calculated a total amended award of $539,993.99 plus interest. condemnor argued that additional compensation should be denied since the reduced award only barely exceeded the Village's proof at trial of $419,939. Claimant countered that the award, even as reduced upon remittur, is several times the condemnor's pre-vesting offer of $110,105, which occasioned the necessity of appraisal fees, trial expenses, etc. The court agreed that, in order to achieve just and adequate compensation, claimant was entitled, under §701, to an allowance for attorney fees, appraisal costs, and appropriate costs and disbursements (upon re-submission of a proper bill of costs), but reduced the amount of legal and appraisal fees to 50% of the amount sought - based upon claimant's pursuit of a valuation theory which was squarely rejected upon appeal, which constituted an amount substantially in excess of the recalculated amount, and which played no role in the courts revaluation of the trade fixtures.]


Matter of Hampshire Country Club v. Town of Mamaroneck, et al
Date of Decision: November 16, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[While this matter was being readied for trial, including by the preparation and timely pre-trial exchange of appraisal reports, petitioner disclosed that the subject property had been offered for sale, and that several parties had expressed interest in the property. Respondents asserted that the negotiations ultimately resulted in a sale of the premises for $12,100,000.00. Consequently, the Town and the Village both served notice upon counsel for petitioner pursuant to CPLR 3120, seeking disclosure of the details of the sale. Petitioner declined to comply with the disclosure notice, and respondents filed the instant motion seeking said disclosure. Petitioner opposed the motion for several reasons, including the untimeliness of the request as served on the eve of the scheduled trial of this matter. Since the items noticed by the Town and the Village for discovery and inspection by petitioner relate directly to the facts and circumstances of the recent sale of the subject premises, the items are material and relevant to the factual issues in this tax certiorari matter. As the applications were promptly made for the sought-after information upon discovery that the sale had occurred, the Court directed petitioner to comply with the previously-served discovery notices.]

Michael F. X. Ryan v Town of Cortlandt
Date of Decision: November 15, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[Croton-Harmon School District sought leave to intervene in the instant tax certiorari proceeding as well as relief from the effects of a stipulation between respondent town and petitioner for lack of service on the district superintendent. Petitioner challenged tax assessments for tax years 2007 through 2009 for the subject premises. The town settled the matter for assessment reductions in each year, and petitioner presented the stipulation to the
district seeking refunds. The district argued petitioner failed to timely serve the superintendent as required. It also argued proof of service was not properly filed with the court. The court noted failure to serve notice on the district, whether through lack of service or misdirection of service to an incorrect party, mandated dismissal absent a showing of good cause for such lack of
service. Also, it stated a lack of prejudice could not supply the "good cause shown" to excuse a total lack of service, as occurred here, rather than untimely or improper service. The district, in recognition of the prior settlement, sought only to be relieved from the binding nature of the settle on the district only. The court granted intervention as well as relief from the effect of the
stipulation on the district.]

Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. City of Mount Vernon
Date of Decision: November 29, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[In 2006, petitioner MTA, a public benefit corporation and public authority pursuant to Article 5 of the Public Authorities Law, leased the subject premises for the purpose of housing a MTA Police Department Station to assist passengers in furtherance of its commuter railroad business. In August, 2009, MTA requested that the City grant an exemption for the subject premises pursuant to § 1275 of the Public Authorities Law. In September, 2009, the City Comptroller responded that OTR, the owner of the premises, was not a tax exempt entity. MTA then corresponded with the Corporation Counsel, and was directed to the City Assessor who replied  in November, 2009 that he had the authority to grant the exemption and was consulting with an expert on the matter. Thereafter, MTA never received a determination. The instant Article 78 action, challenging the denial of its request for an exemption, was filed upon receipt, in early 2010, of the 2009 tax bill. The City opposed the application arguing that the instant action was time barred as commenced more than four months following its determination conveyed via the Comptroller's September, 2009 letter regarding OTR's non-exempt status.  The Court, agreeing with MTA's position, determined that MTA was entitled to an exemption for leased property devoted to Authority business, and that the action was not time barred as the time within which to commence an Article 78 action begins to run when the determination by the municipality becomes final, here, upon receipt of the tax bill in 2010.]

Marianne Shoecraft and AKA Realty Partners v Town of North Salem
Date of Decision: November 15, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner and her now deceased husband purchased the subject home and property in 1999 for $2,250,000.
At the time it was in an advanced state of disrepair and, in response to a challenge filed by the prior owners, the assessment was significantly reduced that year. Petitioner commenced a series of extensive renovations, repairs, and upgrades to the property during the succeeding years. In 2001, the former assessor, having observed substantial work at the property, increased the improved and total values by $100,000. By 2003 and 2004, the total value was increased by an additional $327,750 and the improved value by $300,000.
The trial of the instant matter involved petitions filed in 2005-2008, and, after an extensive analysis, the Court reached the following determinations: (1) From 1999 to the date of trial the Town had neither conducted a Town wide reassessment, nor did it have in place a comprehensive plan (with proof of methodology) to increase valuations based on the equalized costs of improvements to similarly situated properties - any increases to the assessment of the instant property were therefore the product of unlawful selective reassessment: (2) any pre-2005 errors in valuation may not be considered by the Court since (a) there is no evidence that timely challenges to those assessments were made nor were petitions filed for those years and (b) no appraisals or expert testimony were introduced as to valuation errors by respondent for those years; (3) the petitions for the years 2005-2007 were sustained to the extent that the assessment for each year should not have exceeded the 2004 value of $760,750; and (4) the 2008 petition was not sustained where the assessment was reduced by $162,400 - a 25% reduction which is over $35,000 less than the 1998 value with all parties conceding that substantial improvements, likely valued at nearly $1,000,000, occurred at the premises in the interim.]

Mavis Tire Supply Corp. v. Town of Ossining
Date of Decision: September 23, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion to reargue Court's November 17, 2009 Decision, Judgement, and Order [25 Misc.3d 1231 (A)]
was granted to the extent that the final adjusted derived market values for the tax years 1990-2000 were revised as indicated based upon a determination that the testimony of respondent's appraiser was not accurate as to the size of Comparable Property #1, that he had grossly underestimated the size of the property with the actual dimensions rendering it too large to be effectively utilized as a comparable, and that it should not have been used (and relied upon by the Court) to determine value at the trial of this matter. Respondent's cross-motion for reargument with respect to the presumption of validity and requirement for substantial evidence was denied.]

Matter of Village of Dobbs Ferry v. Stanley Avenue Properties. Inc., et al
Date of Decision: September 14, 2010
[Condemnation]
[In a post-trial decision dated November 8, 2007, the Village was ordered to pay the sum of $1,372,750.00 (less any amounts previously paid) plus interest, costs, and allowances to Stanley Avenue Properties for the calculated cost of the loss from the taking. The Court did not, however, direct submission of an Order or Judgement on notice pursuant to 22 NYCRR §202.48. Subsequently, although both parties filed notices of appeal, neither was perfected due to a combination of factors which included the effect on the remainder parcel of construction of a DPW facility on the condemned property, and settlement negotiations between the parties which produced an apparent agreement whereby the Village would not be obligated to pay on the condemnation award in exchange for a commitment by Stanley to build an affordable housing project on the remainder property with financing provided by the County of Westchester and an increased density allowance by the Village. When the  negotiations irretrievably broke down, Stanley submitted the Judgement (which had been deferred for the approximately twenty-nine month period of good faith efforts to resolve the matter) to the County Clerk, who declined to accept the Judgement absent an Order of the Court. The Court, finding
22 NYCRR §202.48 inapplicable, and the late submission of the Judgement excusable for good cause shown, denied the Village's motion to deem the compensation award abandoned, and granted Stanley's cross-motion for an Order directing the Clerk to enter Judgement.]

Rockland Hebrew Educational Center, Inc. v. Village of Spring Valley, et al
Date of Decision: September 8, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[In this RPTL Article 4 and CPLR Article 78 proceeding, petitioner and its principal, Rabbi Naftali Weinstein, challenged the revocation by the Village of the Center's previously enjoyed real property tax exemption. The Rabbi and his family resided in the premises where he conducted numerous acts in furtherance of the petitioner's non-profit religious and educational purposes including preparation for and the conducting of religious services, outreach education with unaffiliated Jewish children, authoring of religious books and pamphlets, counseling people on religious matters, production and delivery of Jewish holiday goods, and engaging in fund raising activities. In this post-trial decision, the Court determined that even though the Village failed to disprove that the primary use of the premises was the conducting of religious activity in conformance with the Center's avowed religious purpose, the holding of religious services at the site in knowing violation of the Village zoning code was a complete bar to eligibility for a RPTL §420-a(1) exemption. Since the evidence showed that the Rabbi presided as clergyman for the Center and that he and his family resided at the premises, petitioner was, however, found to be entitled to a "Parsonage Exemption" under RTPL §462.]

Matter of Hansen v. Town of Red Hook, et al
Date of Decision: September 9, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[Following enactment of a local conservation easement law, petitioners voluntarily entered into a conservation easement agreement dedicating a portion of the subject parcel for conservation uses in return for a 75% partial tax exemption. Upon application, the exemption was denied by the assessor based upon the alleged illegality of the Agreement and the Law. Petitioner filed an Article 7 petition challenging the denial of the exemption. The instant motion to dismiss the action was brought based upon improper service upon the superintendent of the school district. The motion was denied with the Court finding that the service procedure utilized in the case complied with RPTL § 708 (3). Here, petitioners' attorney called and spoke to the superintendent's personal secretary who notified him that she and the superintendent would be unavailable for personal service at the time the attorney intended to personally deliver the papers, but directed him to serve the notice and petition upon another named district employee who would then bring the papers to her for delivery to the superintendent upon his return from vacation. The attorney followed the instructions and later confirmed that the notice and petition were received by the secretary and superintendent, and then conveyed, per district policy, to the tax collector.]

Washed Aggregate Resources, Inc. v. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Date of Decision: August 31, 2010
[Condemnation]
[Claimant purchased the subject parcels for $675,000 immediately prior to their taking by the MTA in eminent domain to facilitate the construction of a new commuter railroad station, an adjacent parking lot, a rail access road, a railroad car storage yard, and the creation of a grade crossing incident to the new station and parking lot. The properties had been utilized at varying degrees of output for the mining of sand and gravel reserves prior to the taking. The instant action was commenced to challenge the valuation and pre-vesting offer by the MTA of $37,611.00 for the direct taking, and to seek compensation not only for the 12.7 acres which were the subject of the direct taking, but also for consequential damages resulting from the loss of the ability to conduct mining operations on the remaining portions of the parcels as a result of the taking. After an exhaustive analysis, the Court determined, in this post-trial EDPA Article 5 decision/order/judgement, that the complainant was entitled to consequential damages as a result of the diminution and/or exclusion of access to the parcels caused by the taking and the improvements thereon. In computing damages, the Court rejected claimant's discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis which, computed over a 20 year period, yielded an estimated $11,515,556 in damages for the mineral preserves which were unable to be mined as a result of the taking. The Court, utilizing its own analysis and adjustments, awarded the amount of $65,000 for the direct taking and $435,000 in consequential damages for a total of $500,000.00, with interest thereon from the date of the taking, July 27, 1998, less any amounts previously paid, together with costs and allowances as provided by law.]

County of Rockland v. Donald A. Lucca, Jr., et al
Date of Decision: June 28, 2010
[Condemnation]
[The respondent-owners/condemnees had previously unsuccessfully challenged the taking of their property by the county and the direction by the Court, based upon the existence of two apparently unsatisfied mortgages on the property in addition to the condemnees' competing interest, that any advance payment funds be deposited with the county clerk, rather than being remitted directly to the condemnees. The instant motion to reargue challenged only that portion of the Order which directed the deposit of the funds with the Court urging that Chapter 1161 of the Laws of 1971 (relied upon by the condemnor as authority for the deposit of advance funds with the County Clerk) was repealed by the EDPL which was subsequently enacted and intended to supplant all previous statutes relating to condemnation proceedings. The motion to reargue was denied with the Court finding that (a) even if the EDPL controlled in this case, EDPL §304(D) clearly provides that a deposit of advance payment sums must be made to the clerk of the court where "... a conflict arises over the percentage of the condemnation award which should be paid to each of the several owners of interests in the condemned property..." and (b) in any event the instant acquisition, as financed by federal highway appropriations, is governed by 42 USC §4601 et seq which at §4651(4) specifically provides for the deposit of advance funds "... with the Court ..."]

Camp Comfort Realty, LLC  v. Assessor of the Village of Tuxedo Park, et al
Date of Decision: April 15, 2010
[Tax Certiorari]
[In this Orange County Article 7 case, petitioner's CPLR §3212 motion for summary judgement and respondents' CPLR §3211 cross motion to dismiss the petition for failure to state a cause of action and for failure to comply with RPTL §708(3) were denied. With regard to the motion for summary judgement, although petitioner's evidence of the recent 2008 sale constituted substantial evidence to rebut the presumption of validity that attached to the assessment, petitioner failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the property was overvalued, raising a question of fact. With regard to respondents' motion to dismiss for failure to comply with RTPL §708(3), untimely mailings made to the correct persons were not fatal to the petition where no prejudice was raised or apparent. Here, the lack of prejudice alone was found to constitute good cause shown for the late service. The decision distinguishes cases in which the required mailings are not made at all or are not made to the correct persons where such errors are fatal in the absence of good cause shown, which cannot be established by the lack of prejudice alone.]

 

Dominick D. Bologna and Bart A. Didden v. The Village of Port Chester
Date of Decision: April 2, 2010
[Condemnation]
[Post-trial EDPL Article 5 decision analyzes the highest and best use, valuation, and propriety of consequential damages resulting from the acquisition in eminent domain of several contiguous properties assembled for economic development by the claimants.The Court determined that an assemblage of properties had been engineered by the claimants in order to create a footprint capable of accommodating a large retail store such as a CVS drugstore, and rejected the opinion of the Village's appraiser that each of the properties should be valued individually on an "as is" basis. The decision also involves a complex analysis of the valuation of the properties by the Court which utilizes and intertwines the income capitalization and sales methodologies proposed by both assessors and modifies adjustments appropriately, and awards consequential damages for the diminution in value which occurred to certain of the lots by blocked rear exit capability resulting from the post-taking construction of a Walgreen's Pharmacy by the developer and the Village.]


TBS Realty Management LLC v. Village of Hillburn, et al
Date of Decision: December 22, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion for summary judgement granted to the extent indicated in the decision based upon the uncontradicted proof that it participated in an arms length transaction in purchasing the subject premises as evidenced by the fact petitioner had no business dealings with the principals of the former owner prior to the sale, that they had not met prior to the closing of title, that all negotiations were conducted through a real estate broker, that both parties were represented by separate counsel, and that no unusual financing arrangements were involved.]

Michael H. Barnett v. The Town of Carmel, et al
Date of Decision: December 22, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion for summary judgement alleging that the Town, rather than pursuing a Town-wide revaluation, has selectively reassessed the subject property by raising the assessment from $150,000 to $240,000 granted.
The Court found that petitioner proved that the property was improved in 2002 by the construction of a three car garage with second floor storage, heat and electricity,but no other utilities and no bath or kitchen, for which the assessment was raised from $105,000 to $150,000, and that the condition of the garage was unchanged in 2008.The respondent failed both to proffer an explanation for the increased assessment or a description of its own assessment methodology, and based the increase on the false and unsubstantiated premise that additional improvements to the garage(to wit: finishing it and rendering it residential) occurred after the 2002 reassessment.]

Village of Spring Valley v. N.B.W. Enterprises, LTD.
Date of Decision: November 23, 2009
[Condemnation]
[Post-trial EDPL §701 motion by claimant N.B.W for additional allowances for attorney's fees, appraisal fees (excluding invoice for the Appraisal Report, but to include fees incurred in connection with consultation and trial testimony), and disbursements necessary to achieve just and adequate compensation, where pre-taking offer by condemnor was $165,000 (with an actual value offered in proof by the Village at trial of $171,000) and the final award by Court was $325,000, exceeding the condemnor's offer and/or proof by a factor of over 90% -- MOTION GRANTED -- Claimant was awarded the amount of $91,352.39 with interest (although it may be noted that the Court declined to include, in the above award, interest on unpaid professional invoices, determining same to be unnecessary to achieve just and adequate compensation.]

Mavis Tire Supply Corp. v. Town of Ossining
Date of Decision: November 17, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Post trial decision in which the Court determined that substantial defects existed with regard to both parties' appraisals. Although the Court approved of Petitioner's use of both the comparative sales and income capitalization methods, petitioner's methodology was found to be unclear both in his method of reporting average sales and in his computation of lease values. Respondent's decision to utilize only the comparative sales approach and its appraiser's determination to reject an income capitalization approach with regard to the subject ("owner occupied") income producing property was rejected. The Court also found other deficiencies in respondent's appraisal such as numerous instances in which the appraiser under-reported the size (i.e. square footage) of comparable properties. As a result, the Court was required to make corrections and/or adjustments to both parties' calculations in determining final indicated market values for the tax years at issue.]

Ray River Co., et al v. The Village of Haverstraw
Date of Decision: November 16, 2009
[Condemnation]
[Claimant's motion to compel condemnor to make an advance payment granted, despite previous rejection by claimant of condemnor's good faith offer of $1,190,000 for the acquisition, since the matter no longer appears to be on appeal as the Appellate Division has affirmed this Court's prior Decision and Order, and claimant's motion to reargue and/or renew to the Appellate Division has been denied; for the same reason, claimant's instant motion to renew and reargue is denied as moot.]

Cloverleaf Realty of New York, Inc., et al v. Town of Waywayanda
Date of Decision: September 30, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Respondent brought the instant motion to dismiss petitioners' Article 78 action challenging special assessments by the Town for water and sewer improvements to their properties. Town Law 202 and 202 (b) govern the assessment method for financing municipal improvements and generally provide that special assessments be imposed on a benefit basis, or where such benefit basis is not designated, in the same manner as other Town charges, or as may be ordered by the Town Board [ 202 (3)]. By various resolutions the Town created new water and sewer districts and projected the cost per parcel for water and sewer, noting that residential properties were to be assessed based on size, and commercial parcels based on assessed value with additional charges based on metered usage. The resolutions each also ordered that the expenses of the sewer and water improvements "...shall be assessed, levied, and collected...in just proportion to the amount of the benefit..." determined by the Town Board to be conferred upon the properties. Since a benefit based assessment was intended and the current system is not benefit based, but a flat rate as to residential and ad valorem as to commercial properties, petitioners have stated a cognizable cause of action with respect to the respondent's failure to tax on a benefit based method.
Accordingly, respondent's motion to dismiss was denied.]

Affordable Housing Construction, LLC v Town of Monroe, et al
Date of Decision: September 25, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's Article 78 proceeding challenged changes in assessments to its multi-parcel residential development on a number of grounds including non-receipt of tax change notices (non-mailing acknowledged by the assessor), and for assessments to properties which were not completely improved with completed structures (contrary to assessor's policy of not taxing such incomplete improvements); petitioner's application to the County Real Property Tax Service Agency for relief on the grounds that the assessed value recorded on the property record card differed from that entered on the tax roll and thus constituted a "clerical error" was denied by the Agency Director without any referral of the Agency's report and recommendations to the tax levying body for the Town of Monroe -- Orange County -- for consideration and a determination on the application pursuant to RTPL § § 556 (4) b and 556 (5) a-b-e.The Court on its own motion remanded the application to the Orange County Legislature for its consideration and determination. The respondents' motions to dismiss were denied with leave to renew, and the matter was ordered to be held in abeyance pending such determination by the County Legislature.]

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. The Town of Pleasant Valley, et al
Date of Decision: September 24, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by intervenor school district to dismiss 2004-2008 petitions for improper service; when tax certiorari petitions were mailed to the Arlington Central School District, whether addressed to the superintendent (2006-2008 petitions) and initially forwarded to his office, or addressed to the School District (2004 & 2005), the petitions were uniformly forwarded to the District’s Business Office for referral to counsel; therefore, based on its custom and practice, the District did not designate the superintendent of schools as the person to receive tax certiorari petitions, but, rather, designated its business office. Despite the district's policy and lack of prejudice herein, the 2004 & 2005 petitions were dismissed for lack of a showing of good cause to excuse the improper service, but the Court noted, as it had in Wyeth Holdings, Inc., that even upon dismissal petitioner may seek leave to recommence the action pursuant to CPLR § 205(a); service of the 2006-2008 petitions upon the Superintendent at the district office was excused based on this Court's holding in Bon Aire Condominium]

Wyeth Holdings Corporation v. The Town of Orangetown, et al
Date of Decision: September 22, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by Nanuet Union Free School District and respondent Town of Orangetown for an Order dismissing the petitions for lack of service on the Superintendent of Schools for Nanuet denied; cross-motion by petitioner Wyeth seeking that such service be deemed proper nunc pro tunc pursuant to RTPL 708(3), or for permission to recommence the proceedings, without prejudice, pursuant to CPLR 205(a) granted in its entirety; here, industrial complex consists of ten parcels five of which were in the Pearl River School District and five in the Nanuet District; petitioner served only the Pearl River Superintendent after making a good faith effort (outlined in the decision) to determine the proper school district (of the four which served the Town); Court held that the well-meaning, but imperfect steps taken to notice the proper district constituted good cause which when coupled with the lack of prejudice to respondent excused the geographical error and improper notice; in so determining, Court rejected Nanuet's claim of prejudice based upon the severe financial implications of a possible adverse ruling.]

County of Orange v. Monroe Bakertown Road Realty, et al
Date of Decision: September 23, 2009
[Condemnation]
[Pretrial motions by all parties, seeking to strike each other's appraisals, held in abeyance, with leave to renew at time of trial; the Court adhered to its long practice, except in the most egregious circumstances, of deferring decisions on motions to strike appraisals to the conclusion of testimony at trial, reminding the parties that prior to hearing testimony from the experts retained by the parties, it is difficult for the Court to assess any proponent’s compliance, or lack of same, with Rule of Court (22 NYCRR 202.59) relating to the preparation of trial appraisals.]

Panorama Flight Service, Inc. v. Town/Village of Harrison, et al
Date of Decision: September 17, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion for Summary Judgement challenging the revocation of its previously held exemption granted; respondent's cross-motion denied; respondent alleged that Panorama's facility at the Westchester County Airport did not provide services to the general public, and thus did not serve a public purpose, since only licensed pilots and light aircraft owners, constituting only a very few private individuals and corporations who could afford such services, utilized petitioner's facilities; Court disagreed finding that the Town (which had the burden of proof since it revoked the exemption) had failed to prove that the services (provided by petitioner) including flight training, aircraft rental, hanger storage, aircraft deicing, car rental, towing, and baggage handling were offered to the general public without any grant of exclusive rights, discrimination, or excessive fees, and had failed to prove that the persons and entities utilizing such services were not members of the general public who avail themselves of the services and facilities provided at the Airport and for whom such services are intended. Rather, the proof showed that such services comported to the terms of the Master Lease. The County’s intent, as stated in the Lease, is the offering by Panorama of airport services for the accommodation, convenience, and welfare of the public. In addition, the Lease outlined services that the Airport held out as available to the public in its promotional and informational materials.]

Copley Court Condominium v. The Town Of Ossining, et al
Date of Decision: September 10, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by respondents for an Order dismissing 2002-2007 petitions for improper service on the Superintendent of Schools for the Ossining School District rather than upon the Briarcliff Manor Superintendent denied and petitioner's cross motion for leave to serve Briarcliff nunc pro tunc, granted; while the lack of prejudice alone has been held to be inadequate to supply the good cause required to excuse a lack of service (see e.g. Landesman v. Whitten), in this case, petitioner sought to properly serve the superintendent of the school district within which the subject parcel lay, but inadvertently served the superintendent of an adjacent school district; in the exercise of its discretion, the Court determined that the instant inadvertent geographical service error mirrored the facts in Harris Bay Yacht Club, Inc. v. Town of Queensbury, et al wherein the 3rd Department affirmed the lower court's finding that good cause existed to excuse the improper service and to allow leave to re-serve the petitions upon the proper school district.]

Jason and Donna Levitz v. The Assessor of the Town of New Castle
Date of Decision: September 10, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioners' motion for summary judgement based on selective reassessment granted; in this case the subject residential property, although subdivided into two zoning lots (one containing a residence and the other only a tennis court) was assessed as a single tax lot at $393,000; at or about the time of the sale of the property to petitioners, the respondent assessor (pursuant to the request of the former owner submitted prior to the 2007 sale) converted the parcel into a two-tax-lot condition, reducing the assessment of the residential lot to $370,000, but raising the assessment of the tennis lot to $160,000 (based upon its now buildable status), thus increasing the total valuation of the properties well in excess of the assessment prior to the split, and occasioning the instant finding of selective reassessment in the valuing of the tennis parcel not for its current improvement, but for its building potential.]

Atlantis Group, LLC v. The Town of Blooming Grove
Date of Decision: September 8, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by Town to dismiss petitions for failure to comply with discovery demand (for specified documents) which also contained language requiring a personal appearance by the owner or authorized agent before the BAR and a further advisement that if the owner or agent "... shall willfully neglect or refuse to attend ... such owner ... shall not be entitled to any reduction of the assessment ..." Thereafter, petitioner's counsel responded by delivering some of the requested material or an explanation of the lack of existence of information, accompanied with an offer to supply any additional information that the BAR might require. When neither the petitioner nor counsel appeared at the hearing (later asserted to be based upon law office failure) a letter was sent to petitioner denying any reduction "... because of your willful neglect or refusal to attend this board's hearing ..." The motion was denied. Although the BAR did explicitly find the non-appearance to be willful, the cause of such willful neglect or refusal was not disclosed in the Notice of Determination, nor was any evidence for the basis of such determination contained in the record other than petitioner's explanation for its non-appearance.]

Marianne Shoecraft, v. The Town of North Salem, et al :
Date of Decision: August 10, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by respondent Town for an Order dismissing petitions based on lack of standing by petitioner who brought actions in her individual capacity, rather than by filing in the name of AKA Realty Partners, the true owner of the property, denied; cross-motion to amend the petitions to add AKA Realty Partners as additional petitioner granted]

The Commons at Bon Aire Condominium, v. The Town of Ramapo, et al :
Date of Decision: August 3, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by respondents for an Order dismissing the several petitions for lack of service on the Superintendent of Schools for the Ramapo Central School District granted in part and denied in part; petitions for tax years 2003 - 2006 dismissed for failure of proper service pursuant to R.P.T.L. §708(3); service of petitions for tax years 2007 and 2008 at the school district's business office, rather than at the Superintendent's personal office, excused for good cause shown]

Cong. Kolel Bnei Brak, Inc., v. Tax Assessor for The Village of Spring Valley, et al:
Date of Decision: July 24, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by petitioner for Summary Judgement challenging the denials by respondent Village of renewal applications for a religious exemption denied; the Court found that although it was conceded that petitioners received Section 8 subsidies, material issues of fact exist as to whether petitioner is profiting from the rental of the instant parcels and regarding the true ownership and charitable use of the subject premises pursuant to Congregation Or Yosef and Shimel decisions]

Leone Properties, LLC v. Town Of Cornwall, et al
Date of Decision: July 13,2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner and respondents each requested the Court to reconsider their previously denied motions for summary judgement based upon newly agreed stipulated facts; petitioners motion was granted and respondents' was denied; the Court found that the Town's increased assessment changes to petitioner's property for the tax years in issue was selective since they were made without providing an explanation for the increases and failed to provide details of the methodology utilized by the assessor or that an appropriate comprehensive reassessment plan was in place for all similar properties in the Town]

St. Francis Hospital v. Kathleen Taber, Assessor, Town of Poughkeepsie, et al
Date of Decision: June 25,2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner’s motion for summary judgement seeking a partial tax exemption (32% of the subject parcel) pursuant to RTPL §420-a granted. The Court found that the leasing by the hospital of medical office accommodations at the medical office complex to its staff physicians, subject to its control and supervision, was reasonably incident to the non-profit hospital's primary activities.]

Southwinds Retirement Home v. The City of Middletown, et al:
June 9,2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Post-trial Decision and Order. Petition challenging the revocation of petitioner's real property tax exemption and seeking the renewal of a charitable exemption (pursuant to RPTL §420-a) for several separate uses of two properties, including SUNY Empire College lease and ware house utilization of "Warehouse Property", and adult day care, dining hall lease, and beauty parlor lease of "Retirement Home Property", granted]

G & J Realty v. Village of Spring Valley, et al:
May 18, 2009
[Post Trial Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) Article 5 Decision]
[Valuation of mixed commercial/office property by reconciliation of income capitalization and sales comparison methods, with consideration of the effect of "condemnation blight" and additional indicia of market value including the equalized value of the property for tax assessment purposes.]

Ardsley Country Club v. Assessor of the Town of Greenburg, et al:
May 18, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[This decision was occasioned by respondents' motions for an order striking certain of petitioners' notes of issue for failure to provide income and expense statements pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.59 [b] and [d]1, which required such discovery to be provided in a timely manner to the municipalities in connection with the subject "income-producing" property. The issue in the case was whether the instant golf club was an "income-producing property" in accordance with the statute's requirements. The decision ultimately determined that the property was not income-producing and denied respondents' motions, but nevertheless granted leave of the Court to compel production of the requested material by traditional discovery pursuant to CPLR Article 31 and §408.]

Congregation Rabbinical College Of Tartikov, Inc., v. Town of Ramapo, et al:
April 15, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Post-trial Decision and Order. Petition seeking the renewal of a religious exemption (pursuant to RPTL §420) for property on which a religious summer camp, operated for the benefit of non-members and non-students of the Congregation (Tartikov), by an unaffiliated for profit contractor (Merokdim), denied]

Legion of Christ v. Town of Mount Pleasant, et al:
March 25, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitions seeking religious exemption for tax years at issue granted pursuant to RPTL §420-a (1) and §420-a (2)]

Monroe Gelfand v. City of Peekskill, et al:
February 27, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Motion by petitioner for an Order enforcing the Consent Order entered with respect to the late penalties collected by the respondent for failure to timely pay taxes due and owing, and, pursuant to the Order, directing a refund of said penalties exceeding the amounts due and owing based on the stipulated over-assessments - granted]

Avalon Properties, et al v. The Assessor of the Town of Clarkstown, et al
: January 13, 2009
[Tax Certiorari]
[Where neither party had filed a note of issue for the 2008 filing and Petitioner had not filed an income and expense statement for the year 2008, respondent's motion for an order granting consolidation for trial of the 2008 matter with the matters involving tax years 2003 through and including 2007 granted solely upon the condition that petitioner timely serve and file income and expense statements within 15 days of the instant ORDER and that a Note of Issue be filed at that time or immediately thereafter.]


Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation v. Town of Newburgh, et al: December 23, 2008
[Post Trial Article 7 Tax Certiorari decision incorporates a detailed analysis of the valuation of a gas and electric utility company’s properties, including electric transmission lines and pipelines, transfer stations and substations, land values, transmission towers, wood poles, including consideration of the feasibility of “in house” construction by petitioner's employees vs. cost incurred by use of an outside contractor with overhead and profit. The decision also contrasts the different valuation and appraisal methodologies utilized by petitioner and respondents, including analysis of depreciation methodologies, functional obsolescence, and net salvage value, and gives a good summary of the law in this area.]

Consolidated Edison Company of New York v. The Assessor of the Town of Stoney Point,et al: December 1, 2008
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion for an Order directing a refund of the pro rata share of the 1% Town "collection fee" attributed to the over-assessment stipulated in the Consent Judgement granted over respondents' arguments (1) that any recovery is barred by the final judgement which made no provision for such refund and/or (2) if recoverable, may only be awarded by way of an Article 78, and not pursuant to the instant Article 7 proceeding.]

David Weiner and Jennifer Phillips v. The Board of Assessors and/or the Assessor of the Town of Harrison et al : September 16, 2008
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioners' motion for partial summary judgement granted solely on the issue of selective reassessment; respondents' cross-motion for summary judgement denied. The Court determined that where original 3,600 square foot house was demolished and removed except for the foundation and portions of two of the original walls, both of which were utilized and expanded in the construction of a new 7,800 square foot home, the work done did not constitute new construction, but rather an improvement to an existing structure. Based on the lack of proof of the existence of a comprehensive municipality-wide reassessment plan, the Court ordered a new assessment, in which the equalized value of the improvements (to be determined by the assessor or at trial if necessary) is to be added to the prior assessment.]

In the Matter of the Application of Ferry Landing, LLC and Westchester Industries, Inc., et al v. The Assessor of the Village Of Tarrytown and The Assessor of the Town of Greenburgh, et al: August 20, 2008
[Post-trial Tax Certiorari RTPL Article 7 decision analyzes the valuation of petitioners' seven contiguous tax lots by the Town and Village, and generally rejects certain analysis of their appraisers for several reasons: (a) with the exception of two parcels, respondents' appraisers, in order to transform seven separate tax lots on which numerous physical improvements and uses had been located during the years in issue into one large parcel of vacant land ready for development, inappropriately valued the remaining 5 parcels "as though vacant and available for development to their highest and best use" instead of on an "as is" basis, recognizing their current income producing condition and use; (b) in order to support their flawed methodology, respondents variously describe the use of the parcels and/or the income generated from parking as "interim", or argue that the parcels are "functionally vacant", or "of little use", or contain buildings which are "unused" or "generate no income", all of which are wholly, or partially factually inaccurate; (c) respondents placed undue emphasis on the fact that the zoning of the subject parcels was changed in 1998 to facilitate residential and other development contemplated by petitioners and that such zoning should be considered along with reasonable development potential in valuing petitioners' underdeveloped land -- even if one were to accept that the parcels were entirely unimproved, despite the change in zoning, it has been conclusively established herein that initial approval for development of the subject parcels (i.e. acceptance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement) occurred only after the period in issue. Finally, the Court undertakes a detailed valuation of the properties utilizing variously the sales comparison and income capitalization methodologies, at times favoring a position of one party or the other (e.g. the Village's sales comparables or petitioner's calculation of the average market price increase), while undertaking a modification of aspects of both parties' analysis, where appropriate, including to adjustments proffered by petitioner, and as to capitalization rates utilized by the parties. Based on the above, the Court ordered reductions in assessed value for each of the tax years by each of the municipalities and appropriate tax refunds, plus interest.]

In the Matter of the Application of BAJ, LP v. The Assessor of the Town of Goshen, et al: June 3, 2008
[Post-trial Tax Certiorari RTPL Article 7 decision analyzes the valuation of Petitioner's mixed residential/commercial parcel by the Town and rejects the analysis of its appraiser for several reasons: (a) Town's appraiser's inappropriate valuation of the property as if it had full approval for all tax years in issue (which was not the case) led to a per housing unit analysis of the residential portion by the Town rather than one based upon acreage, a flawed methodology, since absent final approval, any per unit calculation was speculative at best. As a result, the Court elected to apply adjustments ranging from -10% to -25% based upon the mixed state of approvals during the several years at issue; (b) the decision also rejected the Town's effort to compare two separate groups of properties to the subject, those that were residential only, and those that were commercial and/or industrial only, recognizing that the comparables should have reflected its current status as a mixed use parcel; (c) finally, the Town's failure to consider wetlands restrictions and buffer requirements which devalued the commercial portion of the subject parcel further flawed their analysis.]

State of New York (New York State Board of Real Property Services, et al) v. The Town Of Haverstraw: April 11, 2008
[Tax Certiorari Decision]
[Respondent's motion to dismiss petition, for failure to comply with discovery obligations before the Town BAR pursuant to RPTL § 525 denied, the Court finding that respondent ORPS complied with respect to all information and documents except those relating to assessments outside the Town and wholly unrelated to the subject properties’ assessments, which ORPS declined to provide on grounds of immateriality; that the non-Town information was in fact not material to the BAR proceeding as asserted by ORPS; that it was not improper for ORPS to object to questioning before the BAR by a consultant for the assessor; that the Town in any event waived any defect in this objection by consulting with counsel and apparently electing not to continue with questioning by the consultant; and that dismissal is not appropriate absent proof of willfulness on the part of ORPS, or of a specific finding by the Board of willful refusal by ORPS to comply with discovery obligations, both absent here]

United States Postal Service v. The Assessor,The Board Of Assessors and the Board of Assessment Review of the Town of Bedford, and the Town of Bedford: March 26, 2008
[Tax Certiorari Decision]
[Petitioners' motion to reargue this Court's October 2, 2007 Decision and Order which struck Notes of Issue in each of the pending tax years based upon a failure to timely provide discovery, including income and expense statements in compliance with Rule 202.59 (b) for each of the tax years at issue (1999-2005), and which dismissed petitions relating to tax years 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 for failure to file Notes of Issue in a timely manner relating to those years granted; and, upon re-argument, respondents' motion to strike the Notes of Issue and dismiss petitions (over four years old) denied, the Court determining that respondents had, in fact, waived their right to challenge petitioner's income statements by failing to compel or seek either (a) disclosure pursuant to CPLR § 3124 and/or § 3126, and/or (b) an audit pursuant to Court Rule; in addition, Court determined that service upon counsel (rather than the assessor directly) was not inappropriate]

G&T Restaurant Corp. D/B/A/ Coneyz (Claimant) v. The Village of Port Chester (Condemnor) : March 10, 2008
[Post Trial Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) Article 5 Decision; determination of what constitute non-compensable and compensable trade fixtures of fast food restaurant taken by the Village in Eminent Domain; analysis of appraisal methodology in valuation of trade fixtures; discussion and determination of other factors including depreciation, construction, and financing costs]

In the matter of the Application of the Village of Spring Valley v. N. B. W. Enterprises, LTD.: January 22, 2008
[Post Trial Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) Article 5 Decision; Valuation of mixed commercial/office property by income capitalization and sales comparison methods, with consideration of the effect of "condemnation blight" and additional indicia of market value including the equalized value of the property for tax assessment purposes and the purchase price plus improvements]


In the matter of the Application of the Village of Dobbs Ferry v. Stanley Avenue Properties, et al: November 8, 2007
[Post Trial Condemnation Decision; Reasonable Probability of Obtaining Approval and Waiver of Local Ordinance Setting Dead End Street Length Restriction; Valuation]

United States Postal Service v. The Assessor,The Board Of Assessors and the Board of Assessment Review of the Town of Bedford and the Town of Bedford: October 2, 2007
[Tax Certiorari Decision]
[Motion by respondent for an Order striking petitioner’s Notes of Issue in each of the pending tax years based upon a failure to timely provide discovery, including income and expense statements for each of the tax years at issue (1999-2005), granted; petitions relating to tax years 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 dismissed for failure to file Notes of Issue in a timely manner relating to those years]

The Faith Mission Christian Fellowship Church, Inc. V. The Assessor And The Board Of Assessment Review Of The Town Of Clarkstown: September 25, 2007
[Post Trial Tax Certiorari Decision]
[Petition for an Order granting a religious exemption for the taxable status year 2004 pursuant to RPTL §§ 462 granted]

Joseph Mandel, et al v. The Board of Assessors for the Town of Woodbury, et al: September 5, 2007
[Tax Certiorari]
[Respondents' motion to dismiss Mandel Article 7 claims as untimely granted; respondents' motion to dismiss Mandel Article 78 claims as duplicative denied; petitioners' motion for leave to serve documentary demands, for certain documentary discovery, and for leave to conduct a deposition of the assessor granted]

The Ray River Co.: July 27, 2007
[Condemnation]
[Petitioners' motion for a Writ of Prohibition, barring Condemnor (Village of Haverstraw) from proceeding with its proposed acquisition of certain property and for other requested relief denied]

Legion of Christ, Inc.: July 10, 2007
[Tax Certiorari]
[Petitioner's motion for partial summary judgment seeking renewal of a religious exemption pursuant to RPTL §§ 420-a (1) (a) & 420-a (3) granted]

Old Post Farm Inc.: June 26, 2007
[Tax Certiorari]
[Tax Certiorari Petition not dismissed; Failure to Properly Serve Superintendent of Schools Excused for Good Cause Established by and Derived from the Absence f Prejudice]

Carroll v. City of Rye: March 28, 2007
[Summary Judgement - 945 Forest Avenue - Assessed Value - Newly Created Property]

Central Hudson Gas & Electric: March 2, 2007
[Motion to Strike Valuation of Easements and Rights of Way in Appraisal Report]


Matter of Eastgate Corporate Park v. Assessor of the Town of Goshen, September 30, 2008, __A.D. 3d__, 2008 WL 4427982 ( 2d Dept. 2008 )
[ Notes of Issue Vacated and Petitions Dismissed For Failure to Comply With Filing Requirements of 22 NYCRR 202.59(b) and (d)(1)]

Matter of VGR Associates [ Price Chopper ]: May 6, 2008
__A.D. 3d__, 2008 WL 1989417 ( 2d Dept. 2008 ), aff'g 13 Misc. 3d 1218 ( West. Sup. 2006 )
[ Valuation Of A Shopping Center ]

Matter of JB Park Place Realty: April 1, 2008
__A.D. 3d__, 854 N.Y.S. 2d 547 ( 2d Dept. 2008 ), aff'g 13 Misc. 3d 1233 ( West. Sup. 2006 )
[ Recent Purchase Price In Arm's Length Transaction Best Evidence Of Value ]

Congregation Or Yosef v. Town Of Ramapo : February 8, 2008
48 A.D. 3d 731, 851 N.Y.S. 2d 653 ( 2d Dept. 2008 ), aff'g 13 Misc. 3d 1214 ( West. Sup, 2006 )
[ Tax Exemption [ RPTL 420-a(1)(a),(b) & 462 ] Denied; Failure To Comply With Zoning Code ]

Matter of Adult Home at Erie Station: February 5, 2008
10 N.Y. 3d 205, aff'g 36 A.D. 3d 699, 828 N.Y.S. 2d 459 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), rev'g 8 Misc. 3d 1010,
( West. Sup. 2005 ).
[ Charitable use exemption ad valuation of not-for-profit adult home ]

Sephardic Congregation of South Monsey v. Town Of Ramapo : January 29, 2008
47 A.D. 3d 915, 849 N.Y.S. 2d 662 ( 2d Dept. 2008 ), rev'g 15 Misc. 3d 274 ( West. Sup. 2007 )
[ Tax Exemption [ RPTL 420-a(1),(a) ] Granted ]

Matter of Johnson v. Kelly, Assessor of the Town of Goshen : November 13, 2007
__A.D. 3d__, 2007 WL 3407746 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), aff'g 11 Misc. 3d 1081, 816 N.Y.S. 2d 696 ( Orange Sup. 2006 )
[ Partial appraisal of farmland stricken for failing to value total assessment and
proffer substantial evidence that there was valid and credible valuation dispute ]

Matter of Allstate Equities, LLC v. Town of Newburgh : September 18, 2007
__A.D. 3d__, 2007 WL 2729587 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), rev'g 11 Misc. 3d 1093, 819 N.Y.S. 2d 846 ( Orange Sup. 2006 )
[ Motion to amend notice of petition in order to specify a return date granted ]

Matter of McCready v. Assessor of Town of Ossining: June 26, 2007
41 A.D. 3d 851, 837 N.Y.S. 2d 591 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), aff'g 11 Misc. 3d 1086, 819 N.Y.S. 2d 849 ( West. Sup. 2006 )
[ Selective Reassessment ]
[ Treatment of recently discovered unassessed property ]

Otrada, Inc. v. Assessor of the Town of Ramapo, : June 19, 2007
41 A.D. 3d 678, 839 N.Y.S. 2d 123 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), aff'g 9 Misc. 3d 1116, 808 N.Y.S. 2d 919 ( West. Sup. 2005 ), as modified on reargument 11 Misc. 3d 1058, 815 N.Y.S. 2d 495 ( West Sup. 2006 )
[ Tax exemption restored ]

Adult Home At Erie Station, Inc. v. Assessor of City of Middletown : June 16, 2007
36 A.D. 3d 699, 828 N.Y.S. 2d 459 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), rev'g 8 Misc. 3d 1010, 801 N.Y.S. 2d 776 ( West. Sup. 2005 ), motion for leave to appeal to court of appeals granted 8 N.Y. 3d 814, 838 N.Y.S. 2d 840 ( 2007 ).
[ Charitable use exemption and valuation of not-for-profit adult home ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association : June 5, 2007
[ Post Trial Tax Certiorari Decision : Part II ]
[ Valuation 1997-2003 ]

Matter of Young v. Town of Bedford: February 20, 2007
37 A.D. 3d 729, 831 N.Y.S. 2d 431 ( 2d Dept. 2007 ), aff'g 4 Misc. 3d 1107, 808 N.Y.S. 2d 921 ( West. Sup. 2005 )
[ Use of current market value to assess newly created property ]


Earla Associates: December 8, 2006
[ Post Trial Tax Certiorari Decision ]
[ Valuation Of Apartment Complex ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association: December 30, 2006
[ Post Trial Tax Certiorari Decision : Part I ]
[ Denial Of Charitable Use Tax Exemption ]
[ Granting Of Partial Hospital Use Tax Exemption ]

JB Park Place Realty: November 8, 2006
[ Summary Judgment On Valuation Of Commercial Building Granted ]
[ Recent Purchase Price In Arm's Length Transaction Best Evidence Of Value ]

Rockland County Sewer District: October 20, 2006
[ Scope Of Discovery In Eminent Domain & Tax Certiorari Proceedings ]

Village of Spring Valley: October 13, 2006
[ Motion To Strike Prejudicial Material Denied ]
[ Evidence Of Advance Payments Inadmissable At Trial ]

Village Of Irvington: October 11, 2006
[ Post Trial Eminent Domain Decision ]
[ Valuation Of 8,513SF Property Taken In 1998 ]
[ Comparable Sales Methodology ]

Price Chopper Plaza: October 5, 2006
[ Post Trial Tax Certiorari Decision ]
[ Valuation Of A Shopping Center; Rejection Of Half-Box Theory ]

Landesman: October 2, 2006
[ Tax Certiorari Petitions Dismissed ]
[ RPTL §§ 708(3), 718(2)(d) ]

Khal Bais Shmiel: September 29, 2006
[ Request For Tax Exemption [ RPTL § 420(a) ] Denied ]
[ Failure To Produce Credible Evidence To Warrant Exemption ]

Congregation Or Yosef: September 27, 2006
[ Post Trial Tax Exemption [ RPTL § 420(a),(b) & 462 ] Decision ]
[ Request Denied Because Of Lack Of Standing ]
[ Failure To Comply With Zoning Codes ]

Mirant-Bowline: September 18, 2006
[ Resettled Order And Judgment ]
[ Reductions For Each Challenged Tax Identification Number ]

Mirant-Lovett : September 18, 2006
[ Resettled Order And Judgment ]
[ Reductions For Each Challenged Tax Identification Number ]

Mirant-Lovett: August 28, 2006
[ Oil, Gas & Coal Fired Electricity Generating Plant ]
[ Post Trial Valuation Decision Using Cost [ RCNLD ] Approach ]
[ Income [ DCF ] And Sales Comparison Approaches Rejected ]

Mirant-Bowline: August 11, 2006
[ Oil & Gas Fired Electricity Generating Plant ]
[ Post Trial Valuation Decision Using Cost [ RCNLD ] Approach ]
[ Income [ DCF ] And Sales Comparison Approaches Rejected ]

Mirant: June 23, 2006
[ Bankruptcy Court Allows This Court To Decide Tax Certiorari Cases Involving Power Plants ]

Webb: June 16, 2006
[ Failure To Provide Complete Return Date: Jurisdictional Defect ]

Rendano: June 16, 2006
[ Failure To Provide Complete Return Date : Jurisdictional Defect ]

Kaminsky: June 14, 2006
[ new assessment based on improvements made without building permits ]
[ No selective reassessment found; new assessment ordered ]

Jewish Inspiration, Inc.: June 12, 2006
[ tax exemption sought pursuant to RPTL § 420-a ]
[ production & sale of religious lectures on audio cassette and CD ]

Blueberry Hill: May 25, 2006
[ failure to pay refunds within 60 days of order & judgment ]
[ interest awarded pursuant to RPTL § 726(2) ]

AKW Holdings LLC: May 24, 2006
[ Bringing assessed value of properties in line with similar properties in absence of revaluation ]
[ Selective reassessment; new assessment ordered ]

Allstate Equities : May 11, 2006
[ Failure To Provide Complete Return Date: Jurisdictional Defect ]

Redhead Properties: May 10, 2006
[ RPTL § 727(1) Moratorium: Consent Judgment Enforced ]
[ RPTL § 727(2)(a) exception ( revaluation ) not applicable ]
[ RPTL § 727(2)(i) exception ( change in use ) not applicable ]
[ RPTL § 722(2) additional allowances awarded ]

Newburgh Plaza: May 1, 2006
[ Failure To Provide A Return Date: Jurisdictional Defect ]

McCready - April 26, 2006
[ More on selective reassessment ]
[ Treatment of recently discovered unassessed property ]
[ Treatment of basements partially below grade ]

The Johnson Farm - April 17, 2006
[ Partial appraisal of farmland stricken for failure to value total assessment ]
[ Petitions dismissed for failure to comply with RPTL § 502(3) ]

Midway Shopping Center - March 29, 2006
[ Former tenant has no authority or standing to challenge tax assessments ]
[ Failure to comply with requirements of 22 NYCRR §§ 202.59(b),(d)(1) ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - March 20, 2006
[ Admissibility of prior appraisals of hotel properties ]

Markim III - March 16, 2006
[ Remedies for selective reassessment: partial assessments valid ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - March 3, 2006
[ Admissibility of documents downloaded from governmental websites ]

Otrada II - March 1, 2006
[ Tax exemption restored to 2004 and 2005 ]

MGD Holdings Hav, LLC II - February 21, 2006
[ Selective reassessment; partial assessments ]

Bock - February 14, 2006
[ Assessor's Reassessment Plan Based Upon Cost Of Improvements Fair, Reasonable & Comprehensive ]
[ More on selective reassessment ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - February 8, 2006
[ tax certiorari petition dismissed; failure to serve superintendent of schools ]

Schlesinger - January 24, 2006
[ taxpayer not required to consent to interior inspection of premises by appraiser ]

Commerce Drive Associates - January 13, 2006
[ tax certiorari petition not dismissed; CPLR § 306-b extension granted ]

275 N. Middletown Road - January 4, 2006
[ tax certiorari petition not dismissed; service adequate; good cause shown ]


Majaars Realty - December 19, 2005
[ tax certiorari petition dismissed; failure to serve superintendent of schools ]

Port Chester Condemnation Proceedings - December 9, 2005
[ abandoned claim dismissed; no basis for attorneys' charging lien ]

Village of Haverstraw - October 24, 2005
[ Eminent Domain revision of advance payment and interest rate ]

Markim II - October 18, 2005
[ More on selective reassessment ]

Otrada - October 3, 2005
[ Tax exemption restored ]

Young - September 14, 2005
[ Initial assessment of newly created property: use of current market value ]
[ More on selective reassessment ]

Rockland Sewer District - September 12, 2005
[ Note of Issue in eminent domain proceeding vacated as violating 22 NYCRR § 202.61(a)(1) which requires exchange of trial appraisals as prerequisite to filing and service of Note of Issue ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - August 29, 2005
[ Admissibility of ORPS SalesWeb Data Compilation ]
[ New York State Technology Law § 306 ]

MRE Realty - August 18, 2005
[ RPTL § 727(1) Moratorium: Failure To Timely File ]

Congregation Knesset Israel - August 2, 2005
[ RPTL § 462 : What Are Officiating Clergymen? ]

2 Perlman Drive, LLC - July 18, 2005
[ RPTL § 727(1) Moratorium: Two Exceptions Reviewed ]

D'Onofrio - July 18, 2005
[ Contamination Remediation Costs Excluded In Condemnation Trial ]

MGD Holding Hav, LLC - July 13, 2005
[ A review of the concept of selective reassessment ]
[ Assessors must provide an explanation for changes in assessments ]

Adult Home At Erie Station - July 1, 2005
[ Charitable tax exemption for not-for-profit adult home denied ]
[ Valuation of not-for-profit adult home results in tax refunds ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - June 30, 2005
[ Motion to quash subpoena for accountant's work papers granted ]

Falbe - June 20, 2005
[ Order directing Village to pay tax refund vacated for misrepresentation ]

Brodie - June 10, 2005
[ Claim for STAR tax exemption barred by statute of limitations ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - May 16, 2005
[ Motion to add and substitute parties granted ]

Villemena - May 9, 2005
[ Real property assessment declared void and refund ordered ]
[ Failure to establish and reply upon a comprehensive assessment plan ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - May 2, 2005
[ Motion to amend petitions to conform to proof of fair market value denied ]
[ Respondent's appraiser's fair market value accepted as admission against interest ]

Nyack Plaza Housing Associates - April 18, 2005
[ A change in class assessment ratios must be made by Legislature ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association> - April 7, 2005
[ Letters from early 1900's admitted into evidence as ancient documents ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - April 4, 2005
[ Law Professor not permitted to testify on the meaning of term charitable ]

Markin - March 28, 2006
[ Article 78 appropriate vehicle to challenge method of assessment on equal protection grounds ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - March 10, 2005
[ discovery of non-party appraisals revisited ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - March 10, 2005 "
[ burden of proof on tax exemption issue : the " hospital " exemption ]

Legion of Christ - March 8, 2005
[ motion to stay tax lien enforcement proceedings denied ]
[ pay first, litigate later rule enforced ]

Rose Mount Vernon Corp. - February 22, 2005
[ Appellate Division Second Department Affirms ]
[ failure to comply with 22 NYCRR § 202.59(b),(d)(1) ]

Salvation & Praise - February 10, 2005
[ Bar Claim Action Granted, Article 7 Petition Moot ]
[ 6 Misc. 3d 1021(A), 2005 WL 332409 ( 2005 ) ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - February 3, 2005
[ burden of proof on tax exemption and valuation issues ]

American Property Investors - January 19, 2005
[ motion to preclude appraisal premature; application to obtain opponent's appraisal denied ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association - January 4, 2005
[ Motion To Preclude Evidence Of Resident Health Denied ]
[ 6 Misc. 3d 1011(A), 2005 WL 120792 ( 2005 ) ]


Port Chester Condemnation Proceedings - December 20, 2004
[ advance payments with 6% interest ordered paid into escrow accounts, interest rates for tax refunds and condemnation advance payments distinguished ]
[ 5 Misc. 3d 1031(A), 2004 WL 2952860 ( 2004 ) ]

Congregation Sherith Yisroel - December 14, 2004
[ tax exemption; deposition of tax assessor as quasi judicial officer denied ]
[ 5 Misc. 3d 1027(A), 2004 WL 2903585 ( 2004 ) ]

Matter of Gemilas - December 10, 2004
[ Free Loan Society seeks tax exemption per RPTL § 420(a) ]
[ 5 Misc. 3d 1026(A), 2004 WL 2852658 ( 2004 ) ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - November 24, 2004
[ discovery remedies, additions and substitutions of parties, aggrieved parties ]

325 Highland LLC - November 23, 2004
[ summary judgment granted with interest on refund; recent arm's length sales transaction best evidence of value; recent real estate listings no evidence of abnormality ]
[ 5 Misc. 3d 1018(A), 2004 WL 2683668 ( 2004 ) ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - October 21, 2004
[ discovery of non-party appraisals pursuant to CPLR § 3140 and 22 NYCRR § 202.59(g)(1) ]
[ 5 Misc. 3d 1010(A), 2004 WL 2472472 ( 2004 ) ]

Bank of New York - July 28, 2004
[ replacement cost method; motion for mistrial granted ]
[ 4 Misc. 3d 1014(A), 2004 WL 1829467 ( 2004 ) ]

Miriam Osborn Memorial Home Association -July 22, 2004
[ scope of appraisal audit pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 202.59(c) ]
[4 Misc. 3d 1009(A), 2004 WL 1656500 ( 2004 ) ]

Orange & Rockland Utilities - July 2, 2004
[ petition challenging 1996 real property tax assessment of the Bowline Electric Generating Facility in Rockland County dismissed for failing to timely file a Note of Issue pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 718 ]
[ 4 Misc. 3d 1005(A), 2004 WL 1609183 ( 2004 ) ]

Matter Of Jamil - June 23, 2004
[ land use; assisted living facility comes to Village of Scarsdale ]
[ 4 Misc. 3d 642, 718 N.Y.S. 2d 670 ( 2004 ) ]

Reckson Operating - March 19, 2004
[ valuation of commercial property using income-capitalization or income stream approach ]
[ 2 Misc. 3d 1005(A), 2004 WL 556580 ( 2004 ) ]

SKM Enterprises, Inc. - March 12, 2004
[ 1996 appraisal submitted in 1997 tax assessment review proceeding dismissed as failing to reflect the proper valuation date of January 1, 1997 or the correct taxable status date of March 1, 1997 as required by R.P.T.L. § 301 and 22 NYCRR § 202.59(h) ]
[ 2 Misc. 3d 1004(A), 2004 WL 503485 ( 2004 ) ]

Nextel of New York, Inc. February 2, 2004
[ telecommunications equipment on cell tower taxable as real property pursuant to R.P.T.L. § 102(12)(I) or as common law fixtures ]
[ 4 Misc. 3d 233,, 771 N.Y.S. 2d 853 ( 2004 ) ]


Rose Mount Vernon Corp. - December 29, 2003
[ tax assessment review proceedings dismissed for failure to comply with requirements for the filing and service of income and expenses statements pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 202.59 (b), (d), (d)(1) ]
[ 1 Misc. 3d 906(A), 2003 WL 23112013 ( 2003 ) ]


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9th Judicial District