Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 85
Board of assessment review (eligibility of town board member for appointment) - Real Property Tax Law, § 1524:
A town board member is not eligible to serve on the board of assessment review.
We have received an inquiry as to whether a town board member may be appointed to the board of assessment review.
Town boards may appoint local officers and employees to boards of assessment review, provided such officers and employees do not constitute a majority of the board.
However, town officials cannot be appointed to the board of assessment review if (1) there is a statutory prohibition against holding dual offices or (2) there is an incompatibility between the dual offices.
Since town boards appoint boards of assessment review, a town board member is not eligible to serve on the board of assessment review, because of the doctrine developed in common law which is that a board with appointing power cannot appoint one of its own members to office. Even though this is not forbidden by specific enactment, such appointments would be void on broad grounds of public policy (Wood v. Town of Whitehall, 120 Misc. 124, 197 N.Y.S. 789, aff’d 206 App.Div. 786, 201 N.Y.S. 959; Op.State Compt. 69-582).
Also note that since members of a board of assessment review constitute public officers, members of such board must be residents of the city or town served by the board (Public Officers Law, section 3).
February 17, 1972