Matter of Carroll v. Assessor, City of Rye
Justice John R. La Cava
Property owner Carroll challenged the assessments on the subject property in this tax certiorari Real Property Tax Law Article 7 proceeding alleging selective reassessment. The court noted a municipal tax assessor seeking to reassess individual properties must be prepared to explain and justify the changes and offer proof of the assessment methodology to successfully withstand any challenge. It was undisputed assessor Whitty reassessed the subject property, but no evidence was presented that a municipal-wide reassessment took place in the respondent City of Rye in 2003. The court found Whitty failed to explain and justify the changes, noting she kept no notes of land sales she considered. Further, the court found Whitty's changes did not appear to have been based on objective data, nor to have been calculated on an accepted approach or methodology, thus failed in her burden to explain and justify the 2003 and 2004 reassessments. Accordingly, the court concluded the assessor's actions were found to have constituted selective reassessment of the subject premises. Therefore, the court ruled the petitions were sustained and the assessment rolls were to be corrected and overpayments refunded with interest.