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Volume 5 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 89

Opinions of Counsel index

Aged exemption (generally) (scope-special assessments) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467:

The aged exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 467) may apply to county, city, town, village, and school district taxes, but does not apply to special assessments for special improvements or services such as the repair or reconstruction of sidewalks.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether the exemption authorized under section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law may apply to special assessments for the repair and reconstruction of sidewalks.

Section 467 authorizes municipalities to adopt a local law or resolution granting an exemption on the owner-occupied residence of persons 65 years of age or over whose income does not exceed the limit set by the granting municipality which may be at any figure between $3,000 and $6,500.

As indicated, in acting under the provisions of section 467, a municipality may elect to grant the exemption with a further option of setting an income limitation within the boundaries set forth in the statute. The local law or resolution adopted by the municipality may not vary the terms of the exemption statute (2 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 64, 3 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 70).

Subdivision l(a) expressly provides that “Real property . . . shall be exempt from taxation by any municipality in which located to the extent of fifty per centum of the assessed valuation thereof. . . .” Taxation is defined to mean “a charge imposed upon real property by or on behalf of a county, city, town, village or school district for municipal or school district purposes, including a service charge, but does not include a special ad valorem levy or a special assessment” (Real Property Tax Law, § 102 (20)). Accordingly, the exemption provided by section 467 may apply to county, city, town, village and school district taxes but does not apply to special assessments for special improvements or services such as the repair and reconstruction of sidewalks.

August 17, 1976

NOTE: Construes law prior to L.1992, c.145, which allowed the income of only one spouse to be considered under certain circumstances. Note also that the maximum income limitation has been repeatedly increased since this Opinion was issued.

Updated: