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April 28, 2020

Governor Cuomo Modifies Deadlines to Allow NYS Towns, Cities Additional Time to File 2020 Tentative Assessment Rolls and Hearing Dates

On April 20, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.22, temporarily suspending and modifying certain provisions of the Real Property Tax Law through May 20 at local option.

The executive order affects:

  • The deadlines for towns and other municipal corporations to file their 2020 tentative and final assessment rolls
  • The time in which to file grievance complaints challenging tentative assessments
  • The time and manner of holding board of assessment review hearings on complaints
  • The time by which the commissioner of taxation and finance must certify final state equalization rates

In addition, the executive order suspends certain statutory provisions dealing with the payment of taxes by cities in Westchester County to the county commissioner of finance to allow the county executive to negotiate with any town supervisor or city mayor to accept a lesser percentage of taxes, ad valorem levies, or special assessments otherwise due on May 25 based on whether the town or city applies the criteria for determining hardship under COVID-19.

Finally, the executive order allows the Nassau County executive to extend the deadline to pay without interest or penalty the final one-half of school taxes on real estate in the county until June 1.

Most notably, the executive order allows towns and cities whose 2020 tentative rolls were required to be filed prior to June 1 to extend filing their tentative assessment rolls up to 30 days later than otherwise allowable and to set a date for hearing assessment complaints up to 21 days after the filing of the delayed tentative roll. The order also allows local boards of assessment review to hear complaints by phone call or videoconference as long as the complainants can present their complaints through the call and the public has the ability to listen or view the proceedings.

Because the executive order was not issued until April 20 and most towns in New York State file their tentative assessment rolls by May 1, it is unclear as to how many towns and cities will delay filing their tentative rolls. Because of the original May 1 deadline, it is likely that, by April 20, many municipalities were close to completing the work necessary to file their tentative rolls and will not delay filing their rolls.

Of critical importance to prospective complainants and their counsel is the necessity of contacting the respective towns and cities to confirm the dates their 2020 tentative rolls were filed, the dates set for the board of assessment review hearings, and the method by which the hearings will be conducted.

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Mark McNamara, Real Property Tax & Condemnation Practice Area chair, at mmcnamara@barclaydamon.com or another member of the firm’s Real Property Tax & Condemnation Practice Area.

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