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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 34

Opinions of Counsel index

Assessors, Board of (age requirement) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 102(3), 1556:

The only age requirement for an elected town assessor is that he be at least 18 years of age at the time of his election to that office. There is no upper age limit.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether there is any age requirement for holding the elective office of town assessor (Real Property Tax Law, § 102(3)).

Pursuant to Real Property Tax Law, Article 15-A, enacted by Chapter 957 of the Laws of 1970, and commonly referred to as the Assessment Improvement Law, the office of assessor is to be appointive in cities and towns. However, section 1556 of that law afforded certain cities and towns an option to retain elective assessors subject to a mandatory referendum. As to those localities which exercised the option to retain elective assessors, section 1556 provides in part, “that the office or offices of assessor, as the case may be, shall continue to be elective as provided by the law in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this section.”

Public Officers Law, section 3, provides in part as follows:

§ 3. Qualifications for holding office
1. No person shall be capable of holding a civil office who shall not, at the time he shall be chosen thereto, have attained the age of eighteen years . . . be a citizen of the United States, a resident of the state, and if it be a local office, a resident of the political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state for which he shall be chosen, or within which the electors electing him reside, or within which his official functions are required to be exercised. . . . (emphasis added)

Town Law, section 23, relating to the eligibility of town officers, states in part that, “Every elective officer of the town at the time of his election and throughout his term of office, shall be an elector of the town.”

The above qualifications comprise the statutory qualifications for an elective town officer. The only age requirement is that the officer be at least 18 years of age at the time of his election to that office. There is no upper age limit.

September 3, 1974