Real estate tax certiorari is the legal process by which a commercial property owner challenges the real estate tax assessment of a property to reduce its assessment, resulting in lower real estate taxes.
Typical clients include office buildings, mini-malls, factories, warehouses, retail stores, restaurants, shopping centers, vacant land, and hotels.
Much like a tax grievance for a 1-3 family house in Westchester a tax certiorari under an Article 7 must first be brought before the appropriate municipality Board of Assessment Review. In most cases an index number must be purchased and a Petition must be filed at the Westchester County courthouse. A Petition must be filed for each challenged tax year.
For commercial owners wishing to challenge their assessments, an issue of critical importance is timing: these proceedings, which are authorized by Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law and are commonly known as "Article 7" must be filed within thirty (30) days after the final completion and filing of the assessment roll.
An Article 7 proceeding is essentially a trial de novo to decide whether the total assessment is correct. Trial courts have a wide range of discretion regarding disclosure and what information will be permitted in court.