The Third Department determined Supreme Court properly considered petitioner’s appraisal, despite the wrong valuation date, and properly reduced the tax assessment. The Third Department explained the criteria for striking an appraisal (not met here) and the proof required to rebut the presumption of the validity of the town’s assessment (proof-requirement met here):
…[P]etitioner’s appraiser erred in initially using a valuation date of March 1, 2011 rather than July 1, 2010 in his report. Nevertheless, Supreme Court was not required to strike the report.
An appraisal report may be stricken for use of an incorrect valuation date if the use of the correct date would have resulted in a different estimated valuation … . In that regard, this Court has held that an appraisal report need not be stricken if the appraiser credibly testifies that the “report would not have differed” if the correct valuation date had been used … . We explained that a six-month difference was a “minor deviation in valuation dates” that caused “no prejudice to [the] respondents . . . so as to warrant striking [the] report” … . Here, petitioner’s appraiser testified that the change in the valuation date did not result in a different final value. Petitioner’s appraisal “report was supported by ascertainable and verifiable data” and, thus, “any questions regarding the propriety of [the] assessment would affect only the weight accorded to the appraisal by the court and did not undermine the validity of the entire appraisal” … .
Similarly lacking in merit is respondents’ argument that petitioner did not overcome the presumptive validity of the tax assessment. Inasmuch as “a rebuttable presumption of validity attaches to the valuation of property made by the taxing authority” …, a petitioner “[i]n an RPTL article 7 tax certiorari proceeding . . . challenging the accuracy of an assessment bears the initial burden of coming forward with substantial evidence that the property was overvalued by the assessor” … . “Substantial evidence is a minimal threshold standard that simply ‘requires that [a] petitioner demonstrate the existence of a valid and credible dispute regarding valuation . . .'” … . A taxpayer most often meets this burden through submission of “a detailed, competent appraisal based on standard, accepted appraisal techniques and prepared by a qualified appraiser” … . Matter of Gran Dev LLC v Town of Davenport Bd of Assessors, 2015 NY Slip Op 00424, 3rd Dept 1-15-15