Practice Areas

Related Practice Areas


Real Property and Special Franchise

The firm regularly handles real property issues for energy and utility companies.  These issues range from tax certiorari challenges to litigation involving real property tax issues unique to energy and utility companies.

The firm is uniquely qualified to assist energy and utility companies in administrative and judicial proceedings involving the valuation of private utility property and special franchise property (utility mass property located in public rights of way).  Our valuation team has extensive experience representing energy and utility companies before the New York City Tax Commission, the New York City Law Department, local boards of assessment review, the Office of Real Property Tax Services, the State Board of Real Property Tax Service and the New York State courts.  As specialty property, utility property is valued differently from most other types of property using the reproduction cost new less depreciation (RCNLD) method.  Our attorneys work with appraisers and engineers in producing trial quality appraisals to support reductions in assessments, significant tax refunds and future savings.

In addition to valuation challenges, the firm has been successful in challenging the application of various aspects of the New York State property tax system by local taxing jurisdictions.  For example, we have successfully challenged the imposition of illegal tax rates on utility property which resulted in millions of dollars of refunds to various utility clients.  We have also successfully challenged the imposition of various special district taxes upon utility mass property which also resulted in millions of dollars of refunds to various utility clients and significant future tax savings.

The firm regularly advises clients on miscellaneous real property tax issues impacting energy and utility companies, including issues involving our clients’ property tax bills, pending real property tax legislation, the intricacies of the real property tax system in special assessing units (New York City and Nassau County), and annual reporting requirements with the State Board of Real Property Tax Services.

Our clients include gas distribution and transmission companies, power plants, water distribution companies, natural gas pipelines, and telecommunications companies.

Case Studies