The Second Department determined the small claims assessment review (SCAR) of the tax assessments for petitioners’ properties was proper. The court explained the nature of the SCAR proceeding and the criteria for a court review of a SCAR ruling:
“The Real Property Tax Law provides that hearings held pursuant to the Small Claims Assessment Review procedure are to be conducted on an informal basis, and the hearing officer is vested with the discretion to consider a wide variety of sources and information, including comparable recent sales, in evaluating tax assessments”… . “The hearing officer shall consider the best evidence presented in each particular case” (RPTL 732), and the hearing officer is required to “determine all questions of fact and law de novo” (RPTL 732). “The decision of the hearing officer shall state the findings of fact and the evidence upon which it is based” (RPTL 733).
“Once a homeowner opts to commence a SCAR proceeding, that property owner waives his or her right to commence a tax review proceeding in Supreme Court under RPTL article 7, title 1, and court review of a JHO’s determination is limited to commencement of a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78″…. Accordingly, “[w]hen a hearing officer’s determination is contested, the court’s role is limited to ascertaining whether that determination has a rational basis, that is, whether it is not affected by an error of law or not arbitrary and capricious” … . Matter of Klein v Department of Assessment, 2017 NY Slip Op 02988, 2nd Dept 4-19-17
REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW (SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW (SCAR) CRITERIA EXPLAINED)/TAX (REAL PROPERTY, SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW (SCAR) CRITERIA EXPLAINED)/ASSESSMENTS (REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW, SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW (SCAR) CRITERIA EXPLAINED)/SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW (SCAR) (REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW, SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW (SCAR) CRITERIA EXPLAINED)