On April 14, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7Z (“EO 7Z”), which, in part, suspends the statutory requirement of in-person attendance for a property assessment tax appeal hearing. Ordinarily, a property owner, or its attorney or agent, seeking to reduce the valuation or assessment of its property must attend a hearing of the municipality’s Board of Assessment Appeals in-person to argue its case for the reduction. EO 7Z now permits such hearings to be conducted electronically, provided certain procedures and conditions are met, including the procedures and conditions set forth in Executive Order No. 7B (“EO 7B”) and Executive Order No. 7I (“EO 7I”) regarding a municipality’s ability to conduct remote, public hearings.
Below is a summary of both EO 7Z and EO 7B, including links to both Executive Orders. Below also please find some additional information regarding EO 7I, including a link to a previous alert we issued further summarizing EO 7I.
We are continuously monitoring these developments and are available to help guide you through any questions or comments you may have.
Executive Order No. 7Z Regarding Property Tax Assessment Appeal Hearings
Executive Order 7Z suspends the in-person attendance requirement of a property owner, or such owner’s attorney or agent for a property tax assessment appeal hearing held by a board of assessment appeals. A Board of Assessment Appeals is now authorized to hold such an appeal hearing remotely by conference call, videoconference, electronic communication, or other technology to gather information and reduce the valuation or assessment of the subject property on the grand list without the physical presence of the owner of such property, or the owner’s attorney or agent. However, the property owner, or its attorney or agent, must still participate remotely in the hearing, and the hearing must be conducted in accordance with the open meeting requirements, as amended by the previously issued Executive Order No. 7B.
A Copy of EO 7Z can be found here.
Executive Order No. 7B Regarding Municipality Administrative Boards and Commissions Remote Hearing Procedures and Conditions
EO 7B was issued on March 14, 2020. EO 7B, in part, permits administrative boards and commissions to hold public meetings and hearings remotely via conference calls, videoconference, or by other technological means, provided the following procedures and conditions are followed:
- The technology used must allow the public to view or listen to each meeting or proceeding in real time, by telephone, video or other technology;
- The meeting must be recorded or transcribed, and the recording or transcription must be posted on the agency’s website within seven days and be made available within a reasonable time in the agency’ office;
- The required notice and agenda must be posted on the agency’s website and must include information about how the meeting will be conducted and how the public can access it;
- Any materials relevant to matters on the agenda must be: (a) submitted to the agency at least 24 hours prior to the meeting and (b) posted to the agency’s website for public inspection prior to, during and after the meeting;
- Any exhibits to be submitted by members of the public shall, to the extent feasible: (a) be submitted to the agency at least 24 hours prior to the meeting and (b) be posted to the agency’s website for public inspection prior to, during and after the meeting; and
- All speakers taking part in any such meeting or proceeding shall clearly state their name and title, if applicable, before speaking on each occasion that they speak.
A copy of EO 7B can be found here.
Executive Order No. 7I Regarding Municipality Administrative Boards and Commissions Remote Hearing Procedures and Conditions
The Governor also issued EO 7I on March 23, 2020, which, in part, provides municipalities with procedural requirements and time limitations regarding notice, commencement and holding of public hearings, decisions, and appeals. For more information on the procedural and conditional requirements of EO 7I, please see our Alert issued on March 23, 2020 under our Carmody COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resource Center found here.
Carmody is Here to Help
Additional information and resources are available at the Carmody COVID-19 Resource Center. For guidance and advice on these issues and your particular situations and concerns, please contact one of our real estate attorneys. We will all get through this together. Be safe and stay healthy.