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Department of Taxation and Finance

Marriage equality

August 2011

When administering the provisions of the Real Property Tax Law, assessors and other local officials must recognize marriages between individuals of the same sex if valid and performed in New York or other jurisdictions where such marriages are legal (Domestic Relations Law § 10-a, as added by L.2011, c.95; see also Martinez v. County of Monroe, 50 A.D.3d 189, 850 N.Y.S.2d 740 (4th Dept., 2008)). For example, if an exemption statute refers to a husband and wife in determining eligibility, same-sex spouses must be given the same consideration as different-sex spouses. Local officials with questions on this issue should consult their municipal attorneys.