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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 99

Opinions of Counsel index

Board of Assessment Review (authority of) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 512, 1524:

The board of assessment review may raise, lower, or leave unchanged the original assessment of real property that is before it. The final assessment may not, however, be less than that requested by the petitioning property owner or his complaint.

          We have received an inquiry concerning the authority of the board of assessment review.

The board of review as now constituted pursuant to section 1524 of the Real Property Tax Law has all the powers and duties imposed by law on boards of review by section 512 of the Real Property Tax Law (see Real Property Tax Law, § 1524(2)). Subdivision 3 of section 512 directs that the board of review must determine the final assessment of all real property which is before the board of review. And, this subdivision provides specifically that “such [final] assessment may be greater than, the same as, or less than the original assessment.” (emphasis added)

This language is clear authority for the board of review to reduce an assessment. The sole limitation as to the amount of any such reduction is that the final assessment may not be less than that which the petitioning property owner has requested in his complaint (People ex rel. Interstate Land Holding Co. v. Purdy, 206 App. Div. 606, 198 N.Y.S. 940, aff’d 236 N.Y. 609, 142 N.E. 303). If the board determines that the final assessment should be a value which is somewhere between the tentative assessment and the value which the property owner claims as correct, then unquestionably the board may so instruct the assessor.

February 15, 1973

NOTE:  Construes law prior to L.1981, c.994.