The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Wilson, reversing the Appellate Division, determined a tenant who is obligated to pay property taxes can properly file a grievance contesting a property-tax assessment:
RPTL 524 (3) presents an ambiguity. The clause “person whose property is assessed” is not defined in the RPTL, and it lends itself to more than one reasonable interpretation … . * * *
… [W]e … hold that a grievance complaint filed with the assessor or board of assessment review at the administrative level by a net lessee who is contractually obligated to pay real estate taxes on the subject property satisfies RPTL 524 (3). Matter of DCH Auto v Town of Mamaroneck, 2022 NY Slip Op 03929, CtApp 6-16-22
Practice Point: Clearing up an ambiguity in Real Property Tax Law RPTL section 524, the Court of Appeals held that a tenant (a net lessee), which is obligated by the terms of the lease to pay the property taxes, can file a grievance challenging the property-tax assessment. The Appellate Division had held only the property owner could challenge an assessment.