Volume 3 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 3
Real property appraisers (fee appraiser) (training) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 1522, 1536, 1550:
Fee appraisers engaged for limited periods by a county real property tax service agency in connection with its responsibility to provide advisory appraisals, as required by section 1536, are not required to complete courses of training and education prescribed by the State Board.
We have received an inquiry concerning a county’s responsibilities under Article 15-A of the Real Property Tax Law (L.1970, c.957) to provide advisory real property appraisals to cities and towns within the county. Specifically we have been asked whether a county may employ outside fee appraisers for this purpose, and whether such appraisers would be required to complete a training program established by this office.
Section 1530 requires each county to establish a county real property tax service agency which is to provide certain services in the area of real property assessment administration to cities and towns within the county. Such agency must provide advisory appraisals of moderately complex properties upon the request of cities and towns within the county. At the head of each such agency is a director of real property tax services. In order to properly perform the duties and fulfill the responsibilities imposed upon such agency the director, in the larger counties, will undoubtedly need the full time assistance of professional appraisers, in addition to clerical employees and others.
Subdivision 2 of section 1536 concerns county appraisal personnel and provides as follows:
2. County appraisal personnel. The county shall employ appraisers and other technical personnel to make the advisory appraisals of such moderately complex properties. No person shall be employed by the county and assigned professional appraisal duties which relate to the assessment of real property for purposes of taxation unless he meets the minimum qualification standards established by the state board. Such appraisal personnel shall attend courses of training and education prescribed by the state board under this article.
Accordingly, full-time appraisers employed by a county to make advisory appraisals of moderately complex properties will be required to meet minimum qualification standards established by the State Board and must attend training courses prescribed by the State Board (§§ 1522, 1550). It should also be noted that local civil service commissions or personnel officers have the responsibility of evaluating the training and experience of candidates for examination and appointment and determining in each case whether the State Board’s standards have been satisfied.
Smaller counties may only require the services of a professional appraiser from time to time on a part-time or fee basis. This of course could apply to other counties where it can be clearly demonstrated that there is no need for the full time services of a professional appraiser. Since such services will be of a very limited duration and will probably be engaged on contract, the persons so employed will not be required to attend the training program established by this Board.
Section 64 of the Civil Service Law provides for temporary appointments in the service of the State or its civil divisions for professional services on an occasional basis subject to the authorization of the State Civil Service Department or the municipal commission having jurisdiction of the position.
January 9, 1973