Tax Certiorari and Condemnation

Protecting our clients’ interests in the face of tax certiorari, condemnation and eminent domain actions.

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Exceptional Counsel for Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Matters

The attorneys on our Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Practice Team have extensive expertise in matters involving both New York’s Real Property Tax Law and its Eminent Domain Procedure Law (and related statutes). They know the similarities between these seemingly disparate areas of law and how to fully protect our clients’ rights when a dispute arises regarding either the taxation or the taking of real property.

New York’s Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) governs how taxes are levied on real property throughout the State. By paying real property taxes, property owners in New York help fund our State’s local governments and schools. Because these taxes are, for the most part, ad valorem taxes, the amount of the taxes owed on a particular property depends upon that property’s fair market value. Determining that value requires an in-depth understanding of the legally permissible valuation methods used by assessors and appraisers—methods which vary depending on the type of property at issue.

Our attorneys use their in-depth understanding of these matters to work proactively to help our clients avoid disputes involving real property taxes. Before the tentative tax roll issues, our attorneys work with assessors to make sure properties are properly valued. If those informal efforts fail to resolve the issue, our attorneys are experienced in representing clients at Board of Assessment Review hearings or, if necessary, RPTL Article 7 proceedings in New York State Supreme Court. Because of our extensive experience in these forums, our clients can rest assured that our attorneys also know what to do when a dispute arises. This includes determining whether taxes imposed are constitutional, authorized by law, or simply consistent with the fair market value of the property.

Navigating Eminent Domain Proceedings

New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law, (EDPL) generally provides the authority for municipalities and other legally authorized entities to take private property for a public use or purpose. The EDPL also specifies the rules that those municipalities and other entities must follow when they seek to take such property, including the relevant notice, hearing, and just compensation requirements.

The attorneys on our Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Practice Team help our clients navigate the procedural and substantive requirements that can make or break an effort to take property by eminent domain. Our attorneys have extensive experience in both helping clients pursue eminent domain where its use is appropriate and justified, and helping oppose eminent domain where its use is not. They also know how just compensation should be calculated and have experience litigating the amount of the compensation due when it is disputed.

Whether you are challenging or defending a real property tax assessment, are seeking to condemn property (or property rights or interests) by eminent domain, or are faced with an effort to take your property by eminent domain that you wish to oppose, the attorneys on our Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Practice Team can help you protect your rights and obtain an appropriate property valuation.

Tax Certiorari Representation

Examples of our representation in tax certiorari, condemnation and eminent domain proceedings includes:
  • National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v. Schueckler, 35 N.Y.3d 297 (2020), National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v. Gurov, 185 A.D.3d 1481 (4th Dep’t 2020), and National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v. Oprea, 185 A.D.3d 1481 (4th Dep’t 2020) – Successfully represented client in connection with appeals arising out of condemnation proceedings under New York’s EDPL that were premised upon Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (which landowners had challenged as insufficient to permit the taking of their properties).
  • Matter of Board of Managers of French Oaks Condominium v. Town of Amherst, 23 N.Y.3d 168 (2014) – Successfully represented the Town of Amherst on appeal involving an issue of first impression before the New York Court of Appeals, which resulted in that Court’s seminal decision interpreting 22 N.Y.C.R.R. 202.59(g)(2) and requiring that real property appraisals used in tax certiorari proceedings in New York must adequately set forth the facts, figures and calculations supporting the appraiser’s conclusions.
  • HBC Victor LLC v. Town of Victor, 212 A.D.3d 121 (4th Dep’t 2022) – Obtained Appellate Division order annulling the Town of Victor’s determination and findings to condemn property on the grounds that the Town had not identified or described a legitimate public project and that the proposed taking did not rationally relate to any conceivable public purpose.
  • Matter of Champlain Centre North LLC v. Town of Plattsburgh, 165 A.D.3d 1440 (3d Dep’t 2018) – Obtained judgment, after trial, reducing tax assessments on commercial property located in the Town of Plattsburgh to the amounts sought by the property owner. Also successfully defended that verdict on appeal and obtained affirmance of that judgment.
  • Saturn Club v. City of Buffalo, 12 A.D.3d 1084 (4th Dep’t 2004) – Obtained judgment, after trial, reducing tax assessments on commercial property located in the City of Buffalo to the amounts sought by the property owner. Also successfully briefed and argued the appeal that resulted in affirmance of that order, wherein the Appellate Division refused to disturb the referee’s determination that the analysis by the City’s appraiser was “so damaged by cross-examination that he placed ‘no reliance on his valuation analysis and conclusions.’”

Meet Our Tax Certiorari and Condemnation Team

David L. Cook Partner
Craig A. Leslie Partner, Governing Committee
Ronald Shubert
Ronald S. Shubert Of Counsel
Jacob Sonner
Jacob S. Sonner Partner
Meet the Team

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