Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Tax Assessment & Condemnation Report

Category Archives: Exemptions

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Profits vs. Prophets – WItA Examines the RPTL 420-a Exemption

Posted in Exemptions, Uncategorized
  New York’s innovative group, known as Women In (tax) Assessment (WItA) held its 6th Annual Symposium in August which focused on the RPTL 420-a exemption. The group was extremely fortunate to have panelists that represented both sides of various issues that RPTL 420-a presents, and as an added feature, the Symposium included an informative perspective concerning Illinois’ property tax… Continue Reading

New York’s Property Tax Cap Wins Again

Posted in Exemptions, Property Tax Freeze, Uncategorized
In 2013 we reported on NYSUT‘s lawsuit which claimed that New York’s recently-enacted property tax “cap” was unconstitutional. The thrust of NYSUT’s 2013 arguments against the cap were that it (1) harmed school districts that serve low-income areas by creating an “education gap” which perpetuates inequalities between wealthy and poor districts; (2) violated the state’s “education clause” which… Continue Reading

New York Amends Agriculture and Markets Law To Provide Real Property Exemption For Silvopasture

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
For the first time, New York will classify silvopasture as agricultural land for the purpose of real property tax exemptions. This new classification could result in substantial tax savings for any livestock owner that uses partially-wooded land for livestock grazing. Silvopasturing is the managed production of livestock and timber (or other forest products) on the… Continue Reading

Can Public Parking Garages Be Tax Exempt In New York? The Second Department Says “Yes”

Posted in Exemptions
In the recent decision in Matter of Greater Jamaica Dev. Corp. v. New York City Tax Commn., 111A.D.3d 937, 975 N.Y.S.2d 749 (2d Dep’t 2013), the Appellate Division, Second Department held that five public parking garages owned and operated by a not-for profit entity whose purpose was to promote the cultural and economic development of the “downtown”… Continue Reading

One State Explores Imposing Real Property Tax on Nonprofits

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
In states such as New York, where local governments and public schools are funded by taxes on real property, exemptions are often highly scrutinized by assessors and taxpayers alike.  However, the exemption provided to nonprofit corporations serving the public welfare, such as colleges and universities, hospitals and churches, always appeared inviolate.  The logic is really quite simple… Continue Reading

High Court Affirms Theater, Church’s Entitlement to State’s “Mandatory” Property Tax Exemption

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, Real Property Tax Refund
The Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, recently published decisions in the Maetreum of Cybele v. McCoy and Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Inc. v. Auburn cases.  In these decisions, the Court affirmed that the exemptions provided to religious and charitable organizations by RPTL Section 420-a apply to residential property owned and used to house the organizations’ congregation members or… Continue Reading

High Court Hears A Pair of RPTL § 420-a Cases on October 21, 2014

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, Uncategorized
We’re starting off our new blog season after a bit of a break with a recap of two key exemption cases that will be making waves again soon. Specifically, on October 21, 2014 the New York Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in two cases that could alter the landscape of tax exemptions under Real Property Tax Law… Continue Reading

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal,  the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real property tax exemption under 420-a.  See Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, Inc. v. McCoy 975 N.Y.S.2d 251.  In our previous… Continue Reading

Public Information Session Held on the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption

Posted in Exemptions, School Districts
We recently posted about the Legislature’s recent amendment to the RPTL 458-a Alternative Veterans’ Exemption. From what we have seen and heard, most school districts statewide have determined not to pass the law by March 1, 2014 so that it would have been effective for the 2014/15 assessment and tax season. The reason for the delay generally is that districts… Continue Reading

New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
In an unexpected turn of events, the New York State Appellate Division, Third Department recently held in favor of a newly founded pagan religion seeking a real property tax exemption. In 1999, Rev. Mother Cathryn Platine founded the religion Maetreum of Cybele, which focuses on the obligation to do charitable works and the belief that the… Continue Reading

Two Rights Make War: The Expansion of the Veteran’s Exemption vs The Tax Levy

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions, School Districts
In December of 2013 the Legislature expanded Real Property Tax Law Section 458-a. This revision allows school districts, by local option after a public hearing, to offer veterans a significant property tax exemption. A veteran “qualifies” for this exemption if he or she served in active military, naval or air service during a period of war or… Continue Reading

WITA Tackles What Happens When Government Puts Tax Cuts Ahead of Assessment Equity

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions
On September 25, 2013, 60 women from across New York State convened to hear from Assemblywoman Sandy Galef  concerning the Legislature’s attempts to rectify New York’s real property tax law woes. However, it was not a forum centered around tax cuts and tax breaks – which is certainly the more popular and media-focused topic across… Continue Reading

A Freeze By Any Other Name Isn’t So Cold…NY’s Plan to Freeze Senior’s Assessments Thawing Quickly

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
Earlier this year lawmakers re-introduced legislation proposing to cap real property tax assessments for seniors 70 years old or older – indefinitely. Assembly Bill A04624, sponsored by Assemblyman Raymond Walter (District 146), would amend New York Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) by adding a new section, RPTL Section 467-G, which would expressly authorize a cap on the real property tax assessments… Continue Reading

Update: NYSUT Makes Good On Litigation Threat

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, School Districts, Valuation
On February 19th, 2013, the New York State Teacher’s Union (NYSUT) made good on its threat to challenge Cuomo’s property tax cap on schools by commencing an action in Supreme Court. The lawsuit, spearheaded by a plaintiffs group composed of teachers, taxpayers, and even parents, alleges in a 50-page complaint how Cumo’s tax cap harms school districts that serve low-income areas (creates… Continue Reading

Op Ed from Syracuse’s Mayor, Stephanie Minor, Hints That RPTL Reform Is Needed

Posted in Assessments, Assessors, Exemptions, School Districts, Valuation
A recent New York Time’s Op Ed post on February 13, 2013 from City of Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Minor, states that “the model of using property taxes to finance schools, police, fire, sanitation and other services is no longer sustainable.” For years, we have heard from assessors, attorneys and appraisers heavily involved in assessment litigation that NYS needs to find another way… Continue Reading

Real Property Tax Legislation To Curb The Devastation From Hurricane Sandy

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
  On Monday, December 10, 2012, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced legislation to the New York State Assembly that would provide property tax relief to New York City home owners and businesses that sustained damage to their property as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  This piece of legislation, which is entitled “The New York City… Continue Reading

Real Property Tax Law Reform – Revise Exemptions, Find Mandate Relief

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
“Mandates” – a dirty word.  These days, the mere utterance of this word sends shivers down the overburdened backbone of New York State’s citizenry. Mandates cause our property tax payments to soar but, we are told, these mandates are imperative to the proper functioning of our society, government, and our public programs. One way to… Continue Reading

The RPTL § 420-a Exemption Application Unmasked

Posted in Assessments, Exemptions
Every state, as well as the District of Columbia, provides tax exemptions for religious and educational institutions.  In New York, the most significant exemption is provided by Real Property Tax Law (“RPTL”) Section 420-a, which provides an “absolute” tax exemption for real property (1) owned by an entity organized or conducted “exclusively for [exempt] . . .… Continue Reading