Volume 6 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 15
Assessment review (tax certiorari proceeding) (county attorney assisting town attorney) - County Law, § 501; Real Property Tax Law, Article 7:
The county legislative body may properly authorize the county attorney to assist the town attorney in an assessment review proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law.
A county may participate in an assessment review proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Tax Law.
In setting forth the duties of the county attorney, subdivision 4 of section 501 of the County Law provides as follows:
4. The board of supervisors may include in . . . [its] directions [to the county attorney] the rendering of advice and service to town boards and town officers when not in conflict with the interests of the county, board of supervisors or an officer whose compensation is paid from county funds.
Based on this provision, it is our opinion that the county legislative body may properly authorize the county attorney to assist the town attorney in the defense of such a proceeding. Indeed, it would appear that the county would be allowed to intervene in its own behalf in such a proceeding pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules, section 1012 (Stanford Associates v. Board of Assessors the Town of Niskayuna, 39 App. Div.2d 800, 332 N.Y.S.2d 286).
May 31, 1977