Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 59
Aged exemption (ownership requirement) (occupancy and residence) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467(3)(b); (3)(d)
The five year ownership requirement applies only to ownership of real property and not to length of occupancy, or to period of legal residence. To receive the exemption, the otherwise eligible applicant must occupy the subject property as his legal residence on taxable status date.
Our opinion has been requested concerning the length of ownership, occupancy and residence requirements of section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law which authorizes a partial tax exemption on real property owned by certain aged persons.
The question is whether an otherwise qualified person who owned property for more than five years, which he recently split into two parcels and erected a new home on the unimproved portion of the property, and which he now uses as a residence, satisfies the ownership and occupancy requirements of section 467.
Pursuant to paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of subdivision 3 of section 467, the exemption may not be allowed unless title to the property has been vested in the owner or owners for at least five years prior to filing the application for exemption, the property is used exclusively for residential purposes, is occupied in whole or in part by the owners, and constitutes the legal residence of the owners at the time of making application for exemption.
There is no requirement in section 467 with respect to length of occupancy. Accordingly, the five year ownership requirement of section 467 applies only to ownership of real property and not to length of occupancy, or to period of legal residence. Thus, assuming the applicant occupies the subject property on taxable status date and that at that time it is his legal residence, the occupancy and residence requirements of section 467 are satisfied, and since he has owned the property in excess of five years, the length of ownership requirement is also satisfied.
April 14, 1972
NOTE: This Opinion superseded by Opinion 12-35.