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Creation of Task Force Urged to Address Appraisal Challenges Related to “Dark Store Theory”

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Creation of Task Force Urged to Address Appraisal Challenges Related to “Dark Store Theory”

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Mike Sigler was excused) passed a resolution urging Governor Cuomo to convene a task force, involving assessors, real property appraisers, and real property tax attorneys, charged with reviewing what changes, if any, should be enacted to provide more clarity with respect to the appropriate value to be used in appraising big box stores and other commercial properties. 

Director of Assessment Jay Franklin has noted that big box retailers have successfully challenged real property tax appraisals arguing that their thriving commercial establishments are worth no more than an abandoned retail building of comparable size and location, the so-called “dark store theory”, and that current vague statutory standards and conflicting judicial precedents have created confusion and uncertainty among local assessors, and threaten the tax bases and fiscal health of assessing municipalities and counties in New York State.