Schroder & Strom, LLP | Real Estate Tax Counsel

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Hospital Obtains Substantial Tax Reduction After Trial

Our firm represents owners of a building that previously operated as a regional private hospital. Following years of financial trouble, the hospital closed in 2003. The property remained vacant for several years, during which time Schroder & Strom filed annual real property tax appeals, ultimately placing this matter on the Court Calendar when the case could not be settled. At trial, we utilized the testimony of a licensed engineer, as well as a real estate appraiser, to argue that it was highly unlikely that the hospital would ever re-open, and unless it re-opened as a hospital, the building had no value. We asserted that other potential uses could not legally be considered in valuing the building since each would require a change of zoning. Tax certiorari proceedings require valuation in use, not potential uses. To further complicate matters, the building was actually of legal non-conforming use while in operation. The County argued that the building had alternative uses which made it a valuable structure and the owners were not entitled to any reduction in assessment. The Court rendered a decision after trial in 800 Front St. v. Nassau County Board of Assessors, determining that the valuation established by our appraiser and engineer were appropriate, reducing the assessment to our claimed values and rejecting the County’s position regarding valuation of the property. The Court’s decision reduced the assessment by 48% to 75% for the years at issue. The outcome of our trial successfully generated over $1,000,000 in tax benefits to the owners.