Bd. of Mngrs of French Oaks Condo v. Town of Amherst

Real Property

New York Law Journal



Board of Managers of French Oaks Condo began an RPTL Article 7 action seeking review of the real property tax assessments for its condominium complex for the 2009-2010 tax year. Town of Amherst and others, appealed from an order determining the value of the complex for tax assessment purposes after a hearing before a referee. The divided panel affirmed, ruling petitioner met its initial burden of showing a valid and credible dispute regarding valuation. It also concluded the referee's determination regarding the final capitalization rate was supported by a fair interpretation of the evidence. The dissent found the conclusion of petitioner's appraiser with respect to his capitalization rate to be legally and factually flawed. They, therefore, ruled petitioner failed to meet its ultimate burden of establishing that the subject property was overvalued, holding it would have adopted the value set forth in the respondents' trial appraisal. The dissent noted that the legal flaw underlying the capitalization rate analysis of petitioner's appraiser was that he relied on his "personal exposure" to at least three of the four comparable properties to justify the financial figures that he used to calculate his capitalization rate.

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