Commercial Real Estate Impacts From COVID-19 May Warrant a Tax Assessment Challenge

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COVID-19 Impact May Warrant a Tax Assessment Challenge

Each year New York provides an opportunity to challenge your tax assessment if you believe it is unfair. This year the deadline to file a tax assessment grievance was May 26, 2020, but the deadline has been extended per Executive Order 202.22.

With business income down, and income properties losing rent, 2020 may present a particularly good year to consider challenging your commercial property tax assessment.

Nolan Heller Kauffman LLP has successfully obtained tax reductions for a wide range of property owners in the Capital Region, Warren County, Clinton County and Essex County. Property types have included:

  • Shopping centers and plazas
  • Professional office buildings
  • Hotel and motel properties
  • Recreational property
  • Multi-tenant mixed use properties
  • Manufacturing and warehouse
  • Multi-family rental and income properties

Why Challenge Your Assessment?

With many landlords having to defer or forfeit rent, many income properties are at the beginning of a period of financial stress. Additionally, growing reliance in online purchasing during the COVID-19 pandemic risks an acceleration of the trend away from brick and mortar stores. This massive shift presents a long-term change to the economic model for some traditional retail income properties.

Tourist-related businesses also confront unprecedented vacancy levels, with considerable uncertainly in the short and medium-term. With a loss of traditional sources of customers, such as large sporting attractions, seasonal tourism, and college-related customers, and drastic reductions in travel generally, many year-round hotel, motel and restaurant properties are now closed, and seasonal properties face uncertainty as to when they may be able to open.

Impacts are also being felt by other income properties, as non-essential offices are closed. The immediate implementation of work at home policies has resulted in many businesses developing a reduced demand for physical commercial office space, as technology and corporate culture changes have created a capacity to effectively conduct business from home.

Due to the abruptness of the COVID-19 impacts, municipal tax assessors simply do not have the capacity to adjust assessments to reconcile values to the new economic reality.

Experienced and ready, Nolan Heller Kauffman is ready to assist its existing and new clients during these uncertain times. Our expert legal team is happy to provide an initial consultation, without fee, to evaluate whether you may have a good case for a property assessment reduction. If you feel you have an assessment that is seriously out of line with market values, please contact John Hartzell at (518) 432-3106, or jhartzell@nhkllp.com.