Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Lawrence KADISH, Appellant,v.ROOSEVELT RACEWAY ASSOCIATES, L.P., et al., Respondents.
May 26, 1992.
Appeal was taken from an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, Kutner, J., dismissing action to establish constructive trust. The Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that prospective purchaser of property, who was not party to either sale of property or to subsequent lease agreement between purchaser and industrial development agency, did not have standing to bring action regarding validity of lease or transaction.
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Prospective purchaser of property did not have standing to bring action regarding validity of sale of property and subsequent lease agreement between purchaser and industrial development agency; prospective purchaser was not party to either sale or lease agreement, and did not have special right or interest in matter necessary for taxpayer or citizen standing. McKinney's General Municipal Law § 51; McKinney's State Finance Law § 123-b, subd. 1.
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Statute authorizing taxpayers to maintain actions against public officials to prevent illegal official acts and to prevent waste is not applicable to acts of public benefit corporation. McKinney's General Municipal Law § 51. **593 Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C., Garden City (Samuel Kirschenbaum and Ira Levine, of counsel), for appellant.
D'Amato, Forchelli, Libert, Schwartz, Mieno & Joseph F. Carlino, Mineola (Jeffrey D. Forchelli and Anton J. Borovina, of counsel), for respondents Roosevelt Raceway Associates, L.P., E.H. Mortg. Corp., Roosevelt Raceway, Inc., a Delaware Corp., Roosevelt Raceway, Inc., a New York Corp., formerly The American Racing Corp., Charles L. Evans, William B. Hopkins, and Richard C. Lawten.
Hawkins, Delafield & Wood, New York City (W. Cullen Macdonald, of counsel), for respondents Town of Hempstead Indust. Development Agency, George J. Trias, William F. Heins, Robert Francis, Michael Pender, and George Sinnot, and Anthony C. Imbarrato, Levittown, for respondent Town of Hempstead Indust. Development Agency (one brief filed).
Elisa M. Rivlin, New York City for respondents Madison Square Garden Corp. and Gulf & Western Industries, Inc.
Before MANGANO, P.J., and SULLIVAN, HARWOOD and PIZZUTO, JJ.
MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.
*874 In an action, inter alia, to establish a constructive trust, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Kutner, J.), dated July 3, 1990, which granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.
ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with one bill of costs to the respondents appearing separately and filing separate briefs.
We find that the Supreme Court properly dismissed the plaintiff's complaint since the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the present action. In this action, the plaintiff challenges the sale of the property referred to as Roosevelt Raceway by the defendants Gulf & Western Industries, Inc., and Madison Square Garden Corporation to the defendant Roosevelt Raceway Associates, L.P. (hereinafter Roosevelt Raceway Associates), and the financing of the acquisition by the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency. After Roosevelt Raceway Associates acquired the property, the title was transferred to the Industrial Development Agency in exchange for the financing of the acquisition through a bond issuance. In turn, the Industrial Development Agency leased the property to Roosevelt Raceway Associates with an option to purchase the property. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants conspired to support and finance the acquisition by Roosevelt Raceway Associates and interfered with his business opportunity since he was also interested in purchasing the property. Additionally, the plaintiff challenges the Industrial Development Agency's conveyance of the title of the property to Roosevelt Raceway Associates upon its exercise of its option to purchase the property.
 The plaintiff, who was not a party to either the sale of the property or to the subsequent lease agreement, does not have standing to bring an action regarding the validity of the lease or the transaction (see, Baker v. Latham Sparrowbush Assoc., 129 A.D.2d 667, 514 N.Y.S.2d 426). Further, the plaintiff cannot claim standing by virtue of his status as a citizen or taxpayer since the common law of this State does not afford a taxpayer standing to challenge the acts of a governmental official or body, unless *875 the taxpayer has a special right or interest in the matter that is different than those common to all taxpayers and citizens (see, 24 Carmody-Wait 2d, N.Y.Prac. § 147:28, at 447). In the present case, it cannot be said that the plaintiff has a special right or interest in the matter. Moreover, there is no statutory authority which confers standing upon a taxpayer to bring an action against the Industrial Development Agency, a public benefit corporation. Specifically, General Municipal Law § 51 which authorizes taxpayers to maintain actions against public officials to prevent **594 illegal official acts and to prevent waste, is not applicable to acts of a public benefit corporation (see, American Totalisator Co. v. Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., 44 A.D.2d 750, 396 N.Y.S.2d 301). Similarly, State Finance Law § 123-b(1), which grants citizen taxpayers standing to maintain an action with respect to State expenditures, specifically provides that it shall not apply to the authorization or sale of bonds issued by a public benefit corporation (see, New York State Coalition for Criminal Justice v. Coughlin, 64 N.Y.2d 660, 485 N.Y.S.2d 247, 474 N.E.2d 607; Wein v. Comptroller of State of N.Y., 46 N.Y.2d 394, 413 N.Y.S.2d 633, 386 N.E.2d 242). Thus, we find that the plaintiff lacked standing to bring the present action.
584 N.Y.S.2d 592, 183 A.D.2d 874
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