HOMEOWNERS’ REBUTTED THE PRESUMPTION THAT THE TAX ASSESSMENT OF THEIR PROPERTY WAS VALID 3RD DEPT.
The Third Department determined petitioners, who had recently purchased the property for $103,000, had rebutted the presumption that the tax assessment of over $156,000 was valid:
Here, petitioners presented the affidavit of the associate real estate broker who had been engaged to sell the subject property, together with their own affidavits describing the underlying transactions. From June 2011 through May 2013, the subject property had been continuously, publicly and widely advertised for sale on a multiple listing service throughout the Capital Region. Flyers were distributed at the broker’s office and during open houses and showings. By May 2012, there had been more than 30 unsuccessful showings of the subject property, which prompted the initial reduction of the sale price to $110,000 in June 2012. Petitioners toured the property with the broker during an open house thereafter, and then met with the broker in May 2013 to execute their purchase offer. Two weeks later, respondents prepared their estimate of the market value of the subject property, which was significantly higher than the purchase price.
Supreme Court held that one can “scarcely envision a better indicator of value than the price established within two weeks of the assessed valuation date in an arm’s[ ]length sale of a property that was publicly listed for sale for a period of two years.” We agree, finding that petitioners’ evidence was certainly adequate to rebut the presumption of validity and also to meet their burden upon the summary judgment motion… . Respondents offered no evidence that suggests or reveals that the arm’s length transaction by which petitioners purchased the subject property was in any manner abnormal. Review of the record reveals that the reduction in the asking price was the natural product of the failure to sell the subject property for a period of two years, and respondents’ assertions to the contrary are mere speculation. Respondents further rely upon the affidavit of a licensed real estate appraiser, who explains that he arrived at the property valuation by using the comparable sales method. However, as this appraiser was unable to inspect the interior or exterior of the subject property, his report merely averaged the sales prices of similar nearby homes; he “was unable to make reliable adjustments to the comparable sales,” as the method requires … . As further adjustments in the valuation might be required, he concluded that “[his] analysis is subject to change.”
Respondents’ submissions thus failed to provide a “fair and realistic value” of the subject property … and were conclusory and speculative, such that they were insufficient to defeat summary judgment … . Matter of Weslowski v Assessor of The City of Schenectady, 2017 NY Slip Op 05784, 3rd Dept 7-20-17
REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW (HOMEOWNERS’ REBUTTED THE PRESUMPTION THAT THE TAX ASSESSMENT OF THEIR PROPERTY WAS VALID 3RD DEPT)