Connecticut's Governor Issues Executive Order Addressing Property Tax Deadlines and Procedures

As part of his ongoing response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has issued a series of executive orders addressing a wide variety of governmental and private sector activities. Members of Pullman & Comley’s Property Tax and Valuation Department (PTVD) have been monitoring those orders in order to determine their impact on commercial property taxpayers.

Of particular interest is Governor Lamont’s Executive Order (EO) No. 7I issued on Saturday, March 21 which contains the following provisions regarding property assessment and taxation matters:

  • The deadlines to file appeals with local Boards of Assessment Appeals (BAAs) are extended to no specific date without penalty.
  • Similarly, the deadlines for BAAs to process and hold hearings on assessment appeals are extended to no specific date without penalty. A number of BAAs had already postponed hearings scheduled for March either into April or indefinitely.
  • When those BAA hearings are held, they do not have to be held in person which is the normal situation. Rather, they can be accomplished “remotely by conference call, videoconference, electronic communication, or other technology….”
  • The June 1 deadline for the owners of rental income producing real property to file income and expense reports with local assessors is extended to no specific date without penalty. Those forms are typically mailed out in April and are subject to a 10% penalty if not timely filed.

For those taxpayers that were able to file appeals with BAAs and obtain determinations but have not yet commenced Superior Court tax appeals, Governor Lamont’s EO No. 7G suspended “time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings” until further notice.

On March 19, the Connecticut Superior Court Chief Administrative Judge for Civil Matters the Honorable James Abrams directed that “all civil trials, trial management conferences, pre-trials, [and] status conferences” are cancelled until further notice. The Tax Court had already cancelled many if not all March tax appeal pretrials and cancellations are likely to continue into April.

Also of interest, Governor Lamont’s EO No. 7C extended the time for municipalities to finalize their 2020-2021 budgets which is typically done in April or May. It remains to be seen what impact, if any, this extension will have on tax bills dated July 1.

Pullman & Comley and the PTVD have been asked by the COVID-19 Task Force created by the Connecticut Bar Association to provide input on additional actions that can be taken to deal with property tax issues arising from the current crisis. We encourage you to contact any of our PTVD members, Gregory F. Servodidio, Laura B. Cardillo, Elliott B. Pollack or Michael J. Marafito, with your ideas or if we can be of assistance with any of the matters addressed in this alert.

This crisis is significantly impacting all commercial real estate sectors as a result of prior closure orders and Governor Lamont’s EO No. 7H closing all non-essential businesses from 8:00 p.m. on March 23 until April 22. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the PTVD team for any type of legal assistance that Pullman & Comley can offer during this difficult time.

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