powered by LeadingAge New York

LeadingAge NY Intervenes in Member Property Tax Case

LeadingAge NY has filed papers to intervene as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) in The Gerry Homes v. The Town of Ellicott, a lawsuit involving the imposition of real estate taxes on a not-for-profit provider of assisted living and retirement housing.

This case involves a LeadingAge NY member and challenges the Town of Ellicott’s denial of an Application for Real Property Tax Exemption for Nonprofit Organizations. The Supreme Court agreed with The Gerry Homes (TGH) that the adult home and Assisted Living Program (ALP) portions of the property should be considered exempt under Real Property Tax Law Section 420-a, but denied exemption for that portion of the property that offers market rate housing. TGH argues that the housing should be exempt as well because the margins it generates support the overall charitable purposes of the organization. The Town of Ellicott appealed, and TGH cross-appealed. The NYS School Boards Association intervened as amicus on behalf of the Town of Ellicott.

Real property taxation is an important issue for member housing and assisted living facilities. While the TGH case is fact-specific, the arguments being advanced relative to the need to subsidize Medicaid/SSI underpayments across the organization are of great interest. LeadingAge NY would be concerned if the Appellate Division reversed the trial court ruling, since previous case law has upheld real property tax exemptions for not-for-profit organizations operating adult homes predominantly for low-income residents. The LeadingAge NY Legal Services Committee closely reviewed the case, and given its import the Board of Directors authorized the Association to seek to intervene as amicus.

The LeadingAge NY amicus brief was filed with the NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department on Nov. 30th, in support of TGH. The Court heard oral arguments in the case on Dec. 8th and may issue its decision as early as this month. We will keep members posted.

Contact: Dan Heim, dheim@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866