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Trump-Equitable Fifth Ave. v. Gliedman – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Trump-Equitable Fifth Ave. v. Gliedman, 62 NY2d 539 (1984), the developer sought certain tax credits on the basis that the undeveloped cite was "under-utilized".

The term "under-utilized" was not defined in the relevant statute, much the same as "complicated" is not fully defined in the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) statute.

In that case, the New York City Housing Preservation Department (HPD) interpreted that term to mean "substantially under-utilized", and sought to deny tax benefits to the developer.

The Court of Appeals held that such interpretation improperly limited the availability of the exception, in direct contravention of the plain words of that statute.

In so holding, the Court found that the agency interpretation imposed a precondition to the statutory benefit that was not found in the statute.