As readers of this blog probably know, a property tax appeal is initiated by filing a petition with a municipality’s Board of Assessment Appeals. Typically, the appeal must be filed with the Board no later than February 20. In 2022, February 20 fell on a Saturday. The following Monday was President’s Day and town halls were closed.
A property owner sent its petition to the locality’s Board of Assessment Appeals on Friday, February 18, 2022 by overnight delivery. Town offices were closed on Saturday, February 19, Sunday, February 20 and Monday, February 21. The petition was received on February 22, 2022. The Board refused to hear the petition because, according to its analysis, it had been filed late. When the owner’s tax appeal was filed in the Superior Court, the Town made the same argument and the trial judge agreed resulting in it being tossed.
While it had always been believed that if the ultimate date for conducting any official business with a municipality expired on a weekend or legal holiday that date would be extended until the next business day, the Town involved in this litigation argued strenuously that the BAA petition had to be filed on Friday, February 18; the intervening weekend and legal holiday were of no moment in calculating the due date it insisted.
In what amazingly is a ruling of first impression, the Connecticut Appellate Court concluded “(w)e are not persuaded that the legislature intended to have municipal offices open on weekends or legal holidays in order for a taxpayer to satisfy the (statutory) deadline dealing with filing of Board of Assessment Appeals’ petitions”. The trial court’s decision was reversed.
Of course, waiting for the last minute to file any legal document is not the greatest idea but, sometimes, it just cannot be avoided. The Appellate Court ruling discussed above affords a bit of comfort on this topic.
SG Pequot 200, LLC v. Town of Fairfield, 233 Conn. App. 333 (2024)
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Alerts, commentary, and insights from the attorneys of Pullman & Comley’s Property Tax and Valuation practice with timely information for businesses, nonprofits and individuals in commercial property tax appeals and eminent domain matters.