Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 32
Aged exemption (tax and assessment computation) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467:
The 50 percent exemption on real property taxes granted to certain qualified aged persons is to be computed after all other limited exemptions have been deducted. Thus, where such person is also entitled to a veterans’ exemption, the total assessed value is first reduced by the amount of the veterans’ exemption and then computed at one-half of the remainder which would be the amount of the aged exemption.
Our opinion has been requested as to the manner of computing the exemption from real property taxation granted to certain aged persons (Real Property Tax Law, section 467) where such taxpayer is also entitled to a veterans’ exemption (Real Property Tax Law, section 458).
Pursuant to section 467, real property owned by otherwise qualified persons sixty-five years of age or over shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of 50 percent of the assessed valuation thereof, provided that the municipality (or municipalities) within which the property is located adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution granting the exemption.
Where a municipality (i.e., county, city, town, village or school district) grants the exemption and an otherwise qualified taxpayer makes a timely application therefor, his property is exempt from taxation with respect to taxes of the granting municipality, to the extent of 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the property. This means that taxes for the granting municipality would be levied on only 50 percent of the assessed valuation of the property which appears on the assessment roll for that municipality. Thus, where a particular real property parcel has an assessed valuation of $8,000, after allowing the aged exemption the tax base would be $4,000.
The veterans’ exemption provided by section 458 is limited to the amount of so-called eligible funds (not to exceed $5,000) received as a result of military service and used in the purchase of real property. The veterans’ exemption does not apply to school taxes (section 458, subd. 1, (3)).
It is our opinion that the 50 percent exemption for aged persons provided by section 467 is to be computed after all other limited exemptions have been deducted. Therefore, where a taxpayer is eligible for both a veterans’ and an aged exemption, the exemption provided for veterans should first be subtracted from the assessed valuation with the resulting balance reduced further by 50 percent reflecting the amount of the allowable aged exemption. Thus, when there is an assessed valuation of $8,000 and an allowable veterans’ exemption of $2,000 in eligible funds and also an allowable aged exemption, the assessed valuation is first reduced to $6,000, one-half of which would be exempt by reason of the aged exemption, resulting in a tax base of $3,000 for county, city, town or village purposes.
The veterans’ exemption does not apply to school taxes and therefore may not be allowed with respect to school taxes. Thus, allowing the aged exemption against the above assessed valuation figure of $8,000 leaves a tax base of $4,000 for school district purposes.
Some cities do not have fiscally independent school districts and in such cities the funds raised locally for the support of the public schools are derived from the general municipal budget. In such cities, the practice is to set separate tax rates for general municipal purposes and for school purposes. Under this procedure, property which may be eligible for both a veterans’ and an aged exemption would have that status reflected for general municipal purposes, but such property would only be credited with the aged exemption for school purposes.
March 23, 1972