Articles Posted in Tax Law

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The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division granting Respondents' motion to dismiss Petitioner's petitions challenging real property assessments, holding that Petitioner lacked standing to bring an action seeking judicial review of property tax assessments under N.Y. Real Prop. Law (RPTL) 7 because Petitioner was a non-owner with no legal authorization or obligation to pay the real property taxes and, therefore, was not an aggrieved party with in the meaning of RPTL 7. Petitioner was a family-owned corporation that operated a restaurant on the property at issue. The real property was owned by two individuals. For four tax years Petitioner filed administrative grievance complaints challenging the real property assessments. The board of assessment review confirmed the tax assessments. Thereafter, Petitioner commenced tax certiorari proceedings pursuant to RPTL article 7. Supreme Court denied Respondents' motion to dismiss the petitions. The Appellate Division reversed and granted Respondents' motions to dismiss, concluding that, while Petitioner had standing as an aggrieved party, Petitioner failed to satisfy a condition precedent to the filing of the petitions. The Court of Appeals affirmed on other grounds, holding that Petitioner lacked standing. View "Larchmont Pancake House v. Board of Assessors" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals held that N.Y. Real Prop. Law 339-y(4) allows a standing authorization issued by a condominium unit owner to confer authority upon a condominium board of managers to act on behalf of that owner for the tax year in which that authorization was issued and in all subsequent tax years. At issue were various tax assessments made with respect to property that consisted of individually-owned condominium units. The condominium units were assessed for four tax years during which Petitioner, the condominium board of managers, acting as the agent for individual owners, filed a grievance complaint with Respondents with respect to those assessments. Respondents denied the complaints. Acting as agent for each of the unit owners, Petitioner filed one petition for each of the tax years, alleging that Respondents had incorrectly assessed the units. Supreme Court ruled that the only unit owners who would receive a refund would be those who subscribed to a separate authorization for each of the separate tax years at issue. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that where an owner subscribes to a standing agency authorization conferring authority on a board of managers to act on behalf of that owner, section 339-y(4) allows that authorization to remain effective until it is cancelled or retracted. View "Eastbrooke Condominium v. Ainsworth" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division determining that certain telecommunications equipment was taxable property pursuant to N.Y. Real Prop. Tax Law (RPTL) 102(12)(i), holding that the Appellate Division properly found that the equipment was taxable under the statute. The equipment at issue was certain large cellular data transmission equipment owed by T-Mobile Northeast, LLC and mounted to the exterior of buildings throughout T-Mobile’s service area in Mount Vernon. T-Mobile brought this hybrid declaratory judgment action and N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding seeking a declaration that the property was not taxable. Supreme Court dismissed the proceeding, holding that the property was taxable under the RPTL. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that T-Mobile’s arguments on appeal lacked merit. View "T-Mobile Northeast, LLC v. DeBellis" on Justia Law

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Because N.Y. Tax Law 471, which imposes requirements on Indian retailers located on reservation land to pre-pay the tax on cigarette sales to individuals who are not members of the Seneca Nation of Indians, does not operate as a direct tax on the retailers or upon members of the Seneca Nation, it does not conflict with either the Buffalo Creek Treaty of 1842 or N.Y. Indian Law 6. Plaintiffs brought this action seeking a declaration that Tax Law 471 is unconstitutional and a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from enforcing the law against them. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. The Appellate Division reinstated the complaint to the extent it sought a declaration and then granted judgment in favor of Defendants. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) Tax Law 471 does not constitute a tax on an Indian retailer; and (2) therefore, Tax Law 471 does not violate the plain language of the Treaty or Indian Law 6. View "White v. Schneiderman" on Justia Law

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The owner commenced tax certiorari proceedings against the City of Rye, challenging assessments for tax years 2002-2010. for Lot 9 and Lot 10. Lot 10 is within the Rye City School District. Lot 9, which the owner believed to be within that district, actually lies within Rye Neck Union School District. Under RPTL 708, within 10 days of service of the notice and petition on a municipality in a tax certiorari proceeding, a petitioner must mail a copy of those documents to the superintendent of schools of any district within which the assessed property is located. The owner did not comply with that requirements before reaching an agreement with the City. Before that tentative settlement was finalized, the owner recognized its error, notified the Rye District, mailed the petition and notice, and sought the Rye District's consent to settle. The District instead intervened. The court dismissed the petitions with prejudice for failure to comply with RPTL 708. The Appellate Division clarified that dismissal pertained to Lot 9, noting that the action may not be recommenced under CPLR 205(a). The Court of Appeals affirmed. A petitioner who ignores the RPTL 708 mailing requirements and denies a school district the opportunity to economically address a tax certiorari proceeding is not permitted to recommence a proceeding dismissed based upon such noncompliance; to do so would undermine the goals that prompted amendments to RPTL 708. View "Westchester Joint Water Works v Assessor of City of Rye" on Justia Law

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Petitioner applied for the partial ten-year exemption for certain improvements made to real property - known as the business investment exemption - in 2008. After the city assessor valued Petitioner’s property, Petitioner challenged the assessed value of the property and the amount of the exemption. Supreme Court granted summary judgment to Petitioner on the amount of the exemption and recalculated the exemption for years 2008 through 2014. Supreme Court ordered the Schenectady City School District to issue refunds of any excess taxes it collected during the 2009 through 2014 calendar years due to the prior incorrect calculation of Petitioner’s exemption. The Appellate Division modified by reversing the portion of the order directing the School District to issue refunds for the 2009 through 2011 assessment rolls, concluding that unless Petitioner filed annual challenges to the assessment while the initial 2008 petition was pending, Petitioner failed to preserve its challenge. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that there is no requirement that a taxpayer who challenges the amount of the business investment exemption file annual petitions while the initial petition is pending in order to compel compliance with a resulting court order. View "Highbridge Broadway, LLC v. Assessor of the City of Schenectady" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

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In 2012, the Attorney General (AG) filed a complaint resulting in a civil enforcement action by the AG, alleging that Sprint knowingly violated the New York Tax Law, engaged in fraudulent or illegal acts, and submitted false documents to the State pursuant to the New York False Claims Act (FCA). Sprint moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. Supreme Court denied the motion, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the New York Tax Law imposes sales tax on interstate voice service sold by a mobile provider along with other services for a fixed monthly charge; (2) the statute is unambiguous; (3) the statute is not preempted by federal law; (4) the AG’s complaint sufficiently pleads a cause of action under the FCA; and (5) the damages recoverable under the FCA are not barred by the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution. View "People v. Sprint Nextel Corp." on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether the three-and-a-half year retroactive application of the 2010 amendments to N.Y. Tax Law 632(a)(2) were unconstitutional as applied to Plaintiffs under the due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions. Plaintiffs, Florida residents, brought this action claiming that the 2010 amendments retroactively imposed a tax on the 2007 sale of the stock of their subchapter S corporation in a deemed asset sale, for which they utilized the installment method of accounting for federal tax purposes, and seeking a declaration that the application of the amendments was unconstitutional as applied to them. Supreme Court granted summary judgment for Defendants, determining that the amendments were curative and, because Plaintiffs failed to show reasonable reliance on any relevant pre-amendment law, retroactive application of the statute was justified. The Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that retroactive application of the 2010 amendments did not violate Plaintiffs’ due process rights. View "Caprio v. New York State Dept. of Taxation & Fin." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, several nonresident former owners and shareholders in an S corporation, filed the instant declaratory judgment action against the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, challenging a tax imposed on their pro rata share of gains from the sale of the corporation’s stock. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that N.Y. Const. art. XVI, 3 absolutely precluded taxation of gains from the sale of a nonresident’s intangible personal property - in this case, the corporation’s stock. Supreme Court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and declared that the statute is constitutional. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that there is no constitutional bar to taxation of a nonresident’s New York-source income earned from a stock sale. View "Burton v. New York State Dep’t of Taxation & Fin." on Justia Law

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Petitioner owned and operated five commercial parking facilities for the purpose of furthering the goal of its sole member, a not-for-profit corporation, to revitalize downtown Jamaica, Queens. New York City Tax Commission revoked Petitioner’s real property tax exemption pursuant to N.Y. Real Prop. Tax Law 420-a(1)(a), determining that the use of the parking facilities, even for economic development of an underdeveloped area, did not constitute a “charitable” use and that the parking facilities were “not incidental to another recognized charitable purpose but [were] the very purpose for which the property [was] being used.” Supreme Court upheld the City’s revocation of the tax exemption. The Appellate Division reversed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that because Petitioner’s ownership and operation of the parking facilities was not incidental to a tax-exempt purpose, it was not entitled to a real property tax exemption under that statute. View "Greater Jamaica Dev. Corp. v. New York City Tax Comm’n" on Justia Law