Galef/Reichlin-Melnick Bill, to Give Local Governments the Ability to Adopt a Phase-In Option for Reassessment Increases, Signed by the Governor

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick announced that their bill, A03489/S04855, was signed by Governor Kathy Hochul and chaptered 560 of 2021 New York State Laws. The new legislation will help mitigate the effects of a community-wide revaluation by giving a town, city, village, or county the ability to adopt a two-year phase-in option for reassessment increases on certain residential properties.

Reassessment activity is inconsistent across the State due to lenient requirements. In many instances, assessments are out of date and do not accurately reflect the actual value of properties, causing some taxpayers to pay too much in taxes and others to pay too little. 

To bring properties current, many municipalities are deciding to complete property reassessments. Some of these assessing units had not been reassessed for many decades, and therefore updating the assessment rolls can often cause some owners to experience severe increases in their property taxes. In Westchester alone, sixteen municipalities have not reassessed properties since 1974 and only six were reassessed in 2021.

Although these increases in reassessment may be in the interest of fairness, they can be jarring and sudden. This legislation will help mitigate the impacts of these increases by allowing a local government to adopt a local law, after a public hearing, to phase-in the increased assessments that some residents will experience. It will also allow homeowners to prepare financially for their new, increased tax liability.

Assemblywoman Galef said, “It is so important that property values and their corresponding taxes are accurate. This new law supports local governments in doing that by providing them with the option to phase in reassessments. This will help raise appropriate revenues, while also protecting residents from severe increases. We patterned this law after one passed several years ago to deal with reassessments in Ossining and Greenburgh.”

Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said, "I'm proud to have sponsored this bill and passed it through the New York State Senate with bipartisan support. This legislation will protect homeowners from property tax spikes due to town-wide property revaluations. Now, when a town undertakes a town-wide revaluation of property, homeowners will be able to spread out those impacts across multiple years to provide homeowners with an adjustment period. I am thankful for the partnership of Assemblymember Sandy Galef and Governor Hochul, and the support of my colleagues in getting this important bill to become law."