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Volume 9 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 107

Opinions of Counsel index

Assessment review (tax certiorari proceeding) (condominiums; refund-assessment reduction of $10,000 or less) - Real Property Law, § 339-y; Real Property Tax Law, § 726:

In a consolidated assessment review proceeding involving condominiums, where the reduction in assessment of any individual condominium unit is $10,000 or less, the assessing unit is responsible for the county portion of the tax refund, even if the combined reductions of all petitioned units exceeds $10,000.

Our opinion has been requested regarding the application of section 726 of the Real Property Tax Law to condominium units involved in a consolidated assessment review proceeding. Section 726 provides that, where the final order in a tax certiorari proceeding reduces the assessment of a parcel, the assessing unit is responsible for the county portion of the tax refund, provided the reduction in assessment is less than $10,000. The question is whether the assessing unit, in a consolidated assessment review proceeding (RPTL, §710) involving condominiums, is responsible for the county portion of the tax refund when the reduction for each condominium is less than $10,000 but the combined reduction of all petitioned units exceeds $10,000.

In 7 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 117, we concluded that section 726 requires that in a consolidated Article 7 proceeding, the assessing unit is responsible for the county portion of the tax refund due for each parcel for which the assessment reduction is $10,000 or less. We further opined that the fact that the total of all assessment reductions for all parcels is a consolidated proceeding exceeds $10,000 does not change the assessing unit’s responsibility.

In 7 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 81, we interpreted section 339-y of the Real Property Law and section 581 of Real Property Tax Law as requiring an entire condominium development to be valued by using the income approach; the value of each condominium unit is then determined by apportionment (see also, South Bay Development Corporation v. Board of Assessors, 108 A.D.2d 493, 489 N.Y.S.2d 762 (2d Dept. 1985); Extrom v. Town of Skaneateles, 112 A.D.2d 35, 490 N.Y.S.2d 942 (4th Dept. 1985)). It is our opinion that the required use of this valuation method and apportionment does not change the conclusion with respect to the application of section 726 in cases involving condominium units.

Our conclusion is based on the fact that, despite the statutory restriction on valuation methodology for condominiums, each condominium unit is separately entered on the assessment roll (RPTL, §§102(2), 502). Since each condominium unit is a separately assessed parcel (Real Property Law, §339-y), we are of the opinion that the analysis set forth in 7 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 117 applies to any judicial review proceeding wherein petitions to review the assessments on two or more condominium units are consolidated. The valuation analysis used in establishing the market value of the units subject to review is irrelevant with respect to which municipality is responsible for any tax refund due.

Therefore, where the reduction in assessment of any individual condominium unit is $10,000 or less, the assessing unit is responsible for the county portion of any tax refund, even if the combined reduction of all the petitioned units exceeds $10,000.

October 19, 1992

NOTE:  This opinion is superseded by L.1995, c.467.

Updated: