Board of Assessment Review
The Board of Assessment Review is a quasi-judicial body appointed by the local government to hear complaints on assessments and is the first step in the administrative review process for contesting the assessed value on a property. This page is intended to be a resource for Board of Assessment review members to access training and reference materials. Property owners looking to learn more about contesting their assessed value should consult these resources from New York State.
Can the BAR refuse to ratify Stipulations?
The expectation of stipulations on the RP-524 form is that the BAR will ratify them without further discussion.
A stipulation is an agreement between the assessor and the property owner as to the assessed value of a property. The reason the BAR is involved in this process is because real property tax law prevents the Assessor from making assessment changes after May 1st without the approval of the BAR.
Can the BAR discuss property assessments with the Assessor outside of the public grievance hearing?
The BAR may only discuss assessments with the Assessor outside of the grievance day hearings if the discussion does not pertain to specific properties on the assessment roll.
All discussion on individual property assessments must be held on record during the hearings. General questions concerning the assessor's techniques for assessing property, changes in real property tax law, or the volume of complaints to be expected on grievance day are examples of topics that may be discussed off record or before grievance.
Can the BAR fill in missing information on the RP-524 form?
No, if the complainant did not fill in all the required information on the RP-524 form, and especially if they did not sign the form, then you may request that the complainant fill in the missing information and deny their complaint if they fail to do so. It is not the job of the BAR to "fill in the blanks" on behalf of the complainant.
Is there a value in "land-locked" parcels and can they be assessed?
Section 300 of the Real Property Tax Law states that all real property within the state is subject to taxation, and therefore is subject to assessment. The assessor has been appointed by the City or Town to assess all the real property within their jurisdiction, which includes "land-locked" parcels.
What changes should the Board make to the hearings due to COVID-19?
We recommend enforcing social distancing measure such as encouraging staggered appointments and maintaining 6-foot distances for those waiting to be heard by the BAR. However, you will need to still hold the hearings in compliance with the open meetings law and you should consult and adhere to the advice of your municipality's attorney.
Can the Board prevent the public from attending the hearings in person due to COVID-19?
The Governor's executive order 202.22 allows for "local Boards of Assessment Review to hear complaints remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that complainants can present their complaints through such service and the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding."
If your Board cannot accommodate holding the hearings via a broadcast, live stream, webinar, teleconference, or similar technology then you must allow the public to attend the meeting in person.