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Volume 8 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 18

Opinions of Counsel index

Board of assessment review (powers and duties) (second meeting) - RPTL, §§ 524, 553:

If the assessor submits no petitions to correct errors on the final assessment roll, there is no “second meeting” of the board of assessment review pursuant to section 553 of the Real Property Tax Law. However, the board may meet subsequent to grievance day for organizational and preparatory purposes.

We have received a request for information concerning a “second meeting” of the board of assessment review, where no petitions have been filed with the board pursuant to section 553 of the Real Property Tax Law [RPTL], and no second meeting had been scheduled at grievance day.

Section 553 of the RPTL provides for the “second meeting” of the Board in subdivision 3, which reads in pertinent part:

(a) The chairman of the board of assessment review shall, on the date specified for meetings of boards of review by [§ 506] of this chapter or by other applicable law, designate a date on which the board of assessment review shall convene to review assessments made pursuant to this section. The date to be designated shall be a date at least fifteen days subsequent to the filing of the final assessment roll and not more than ninety days prior to the date on which the tax levying body issues the warrant for the collection of taxes . . .

(b) The appropriate board of assessment review if it has received one or more petitions transmitted in accordance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section, shall, on the date designated by the chairman pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdivision, convene to review such petitions, and on such review the board shall have all of the powers and duties imposed by law on boards of review . . . [emphasis added].

Thus, the sole purpose of the “second meeting” is to correct those clerical errors, unlawful entries, errors in essential fact and omissions specified in section 553(1) on the final assessment roll, upon petition by the assessor. If the assessor submits no petitions to correct such errors, then there is no “second meeting”. However, this does not mean that the board may not meet for other purposes on a date which falls within the time period of section 553(3)(a).

As a general principle of administrative law, in addition to those powers specifically granted to it, an administrative body possesses those powers so essential to the exercise of powers granted as to appear to have been within the intention of the Legislature (Saltser & Weinsier, Inc. v. McGoldrick, 295 N.Y. 499, 68 N.E.2d 508 (1946)). If the board of assessment review is to perform its statutory functions, it is reasonable to imply the power to hold organizational and preparatory meetings. There is no prohibition against scheduling such a meeting for the same time as the statutory second meeting. If no petitions are filed by the assessor, the meeting will be devoted entirely to internal board matters, but, of course, in the absence of petitions from the assessor, no changes may be directed on the final assessment roll.

November 14, 1983