IN RE: ROCKLAND AND ORANGE COUNTIES CARPENTER'S APPRENTICE FUND LOCAL NO. 964

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

IN RE: ROCKLAND AND ORANGE COUNTIES CARPENTER'S APPRENTICE FUND LOCAL NO. 964, respondent, v. TOWN OF STONY POINT, etc., appellant.

Decided: September 27, 1999

DAVID S. RITTER, J.P., WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, DANIEL W. JOY and HOWARD MILLER, JJ. Frank J. Phillips, Town Attorney, Stony Point, N.Y., for appellant. Goodfriend, Saltzman & Newman, New City, N.Y. (Mark F. Goodfriend of counsel), for respondent.

In a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 to review a determination of the Town of Stony Point denying the petitioner's separate applications for property tax exemptions for the years 1994 through 1996 pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 420-a(1), the Town of Stony Point appeals, as limited by its brief, from so much of a judgment of the Supreme Court, Rockland County (Palella, J.), entered April 21, 1998, as granted the petition.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

The Supreme Court properly determined that the petitioner met its burden of demonstrating its entitlement to a tax exemption under Real Property Tax Law § 420-a(1)(a) (see, Matter of New York Botanical Garden v. Assessors of Town of Washington, 55 N.Y.2d 328, 334, 449 N.Y.S.2d 467, 434 N.E.2d 703;  Matter of Upstate N.Y. Laborers' Educ. & Training Fund v. Oswego Town Assessor's Off., 224 A.D.2d 1029, 637 N.Y.S.2d 588).   Contrary to the Town's contention, the fact that the beneficiaries of the petitioner's organization are primarily members of its union or that the petitioner's organization is not approved by the Department of Education is not dispositive of the issue of whether the petitioner is organized and conducted exclusively for educational purposes (see, American Mgt. Assns. v. Assessor of the Town of Madison, 63 A.D.2d 1102, 406 N.Y.S.2d 583, affd. 47 N.Y.2d 841, 418 N.Y.S.2d 584, 392 N.E.2d 571;  see also, Matter of Symphony Space v. Tishelman, 60 N.Y.2d 33, 37, 466 N.Y.S.2d 677, 453 N.E.2d 1094).

The petitioner, which operates an apprenticeship training school for carpenters/journeymen with a detailed five-year course of study, is organized and conducted exclusively for educational purposes and the property is used exclusively for those purposes (see, RPTL § 420-a[1][a];  Matter of Upstate N.Y. Laborers' Educ. & Training Fund v. Oswego Town Assessor's Off., supra;  cf., Association of Bar of City of N.Y. v. Lewisohn, 34 N.Y.2d 143, 356 N.Y.S.2d 555, 313 N.E.2d 30).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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