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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 67

Opinions of Counsel index

Special assessments (sewer district - Westchester County) - Real Property Tax Law § 102(14); Westchester County Administrative Code, Title C, § 168:

In Westchester County, all property located within a county sewer district is deemed to be benefited by any sewer constructed and maintained by this district. The fact that a parcel of property is not tied into any sewer system does not affect the validity of sewer assessments.

Our opinion has been requested as to the legality of three sewer district charges which have been levied on property located in a town in Westchester County for the last nineteen years.

The sewer taxes of X Sewer District (apparently a town sewer district which provides feeder lines for county trunk lines), the Y District and the Z District (both county districts) are imposed on one parcel of property. The property has a septic tank and no connections have been made to any of the sewer lines. There are no sewer mains in the area with which the parcel can be connected. The question is as to the validity of these sewer charges.

The charges imposed by the two county sewer districts in which the property is apparently located are what are defined as “special ad valorem levies” (Real Property Tax Law, § 102(14)).

          This means that under the applicable provisions of the Westchester County Sanitary Sewer Law (Westchester County Administrative Code, Title C, § 168), all property located within a county sewer district is deemed to be benefited by any sewer to be constructed and maintained by the district (see, County of Westchester v. Town of Harrison, 201 Misc. 211, 114 N.Y.S.2d 492). The amount of the benefit is measured by and the charge is imposed on the assessed value of the part of the property located in each of the districts. The fact that the property is not actually tied into any sewer system does not affect the validity of sewer assessments unless they are being levied on property which is not within a district.

April 28, 1972

Updated: