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Taxpayers and municipalities statewide should be aware of potential changes to real property tax assessment and grievance procedures for 2020 in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements.

On April 20, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.22, which allows municipalities to implement the following modifications of the requirements of Article 5 of the Real Property Tax Law at their “local option”:

  • to allow the tentative assessment roll to be filed up to 30 days later than otherwise allowable;
  • to allow an assessing unit to set the date for their Boards of Assessment Review to hear assessment complaints to a date at least 21 days after the filing of the tentative roll;
  • to allow notice of the filing of the tentative roll to be published solely online so long as the date for hearing complaints is prominently displayed;
  • to suspend in-person inspection of the tentative assessment roll; and
  • to allow local Boards of Assessment Review to hear complaints remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that complainants can present their complaints through such service and the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding.

The critical factor for taxpayers with respect to this Executive Order is that these authorized changes are at “local option,” so not all municipalities will adopt all of them.  Many municipalities are moving forward with the filing of their tentative assessment roll and Board of Assessment Review hearings on the same schedule as other years – and are not extending those deadlines — but are merely suspending in-person contact and utilizing technology to handle things remotely.

Thus, taxpayers must be extra vigilant this year to not miss the deadline for filing their grievance complaints.  Taxpayers should review their taxing jurisdiction’s website to find out the grievance dates and deadlines, and to learn how they can participate in remote Board of Assessment Review proceedings.

Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in grieving your commercial real property taxes.

This is not intended to be legal advice.  You should contact an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation.

Kara J. Cavallo is a partner with the firm and concentrates in appellate practice and civil litigation including tax certiorari.  She can be reached  byphone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.

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