In 2011, 41 school districts retained HMYKM to challenge a Nassau County local law making them responsible for the payment of real property tax refunds emanating from the County’s erroneous property valuations. As a result of the local law, it was estimated that the school districts in the County would be responsible for upwards of $53 million in annual refunds.
HMYKM initiated a lawsuit against the County, maintaining that the local law violated several provisions of the State Constitution and the Municipal Home Rule Law limiting the authority of local governments to enact laws affecting local taxation. The battle was fought through three levels of judicial review, including the State’s highest court in Albany. In a unanimous 29-page ruling issued on February 18, 2014, the Court of Appeals agreed with our arguments and struck down the local law upon the ground that it was “unconstitutional, invalid, unenforceable and void.” Baldwin Union Free School District v. County of Nassau, ___ N.Y.2d ___, 2014 WL 590617 (Feb. 18, 2014). The Court’s ruling received prominent treatment in Newsday and the New York Law Journal.