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Assessment Exemption

Exemption Information

Star Exemptions -(Basic & Enhanced)

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Basic Star Exemption

If you own property and it is your primary residence, you may be eligible for a School Property tax savings.  Contact our office and obtain the required form available.

Enhanced Star Exemption

You may be eligible for a larger School Property Tax Savings if you meet the following age and Income Requirements.
1. All owners at least 65 years of age as of December 31st of current year or if the property is owned by a husband and wife where one spouse is at least 65 years of age (as of the taxable status date which is March 1st of each year?

2. Is the total income of all owners and any owners spouses residing on the property $79,050 or less? (please note this figure may change every year).

If the answers to both questions #1 and #2 is yes, all owners, including non resident owners, must attach a copy of the latest Federal or State Income Tax Return (if filed) and complete the form available in the Assessors' office.

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Agriculture Exemption

For Landowners applying for Agriculture Assessment

The Consequences of converting land to a non agricultural use:

The consequence of a conversion is a payment based on five times the taxes saved in the most recent year of benefit. The payment also includes a six percent interest charge compounded annually for each year during the last five in which the land received an agricultural assessment. An encumbrance runs with the land from the last time the parcel benefited for five years in an Agricultural District and for eight years outside a district.

For land outside an agricultural district the obligation to make a payment for conversion creates a lien against the entire parcel even if only a portion of the parcel benefited from the agricultural assessment.

Please visit the New York State Office of Real Property Services for more information.

 

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Veterans Exemption

THE ALTERNATIVE VETERANS EXEMPTION

In 1984, the Legislature amended the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) and enacted a new alternative veterans exemption, �458-a (L.1984, c.525). Unlike the longstanding veterans exemption provided by RPTL �458 (the so-called "eligible funds" exemption), the alternative veterans exemption is not contingent upon the purchase of real property with specified government monies. Instead, the alternative veterans exemption is based on a percentage of assessed value subject to maximum levels of exemption. The alternative exemption is limited to the primary residence of a veteran and is available to property owned by honorably discharged veterans (or certain of their family members) who served during specified periods of war or under certain other conditions.

Like the eligible funds exemption, the alternative veterans exemption is applicable to county, city, town and village taxes but not to school taxes or special district levies. In general, a qualifying wartime veteran's property receives an exemption of 15% of its assessed value. An additional 10% exemption is available where the veteran can document service in a combat theatre or zone.

There is also a third exemption for veterans who received a service-connected disability compensation rating from the Veterans Administration or the Department of Defense. The percentage for this exemption is equal to one-half of the veteran's disability rating. (Where a veteran died in the service of a service-connected disability, the veteran is considered to have been assigned a disability rating of 100%.)

Eligibility for Exemption

The alternative veterans exemption is available to qualifying residential real property owned by honorably discharged veterans (or certain family members) who served during defined periods of war or under certain other conditions. The following sections discuss the criteria for eligibility for exemption. Reference is made, where appropriate, to the application form for the exemption (RP-458-a).

Period of War

The basic 15% alternative veterans exemption is granted to property owned by veterans (or, as discussed below, certain family members) based on the veteran's active duty during one of the following periods of war:

Cold War: 9/2/1945 - 12/26/91 -

Persian Gulf Conflict: 8/2/90 - *

Vietnam War: 12/22/61 - 5/7/75 *

Korean War: 6/27/50 - 1/31/55 *

World War II: 12/7/41 - 12/31/46 **

World War I: 4/06/17 - 11/11/18 **

In the case of a veteran who served with the United States military forces in Russia, the ending period is 4/1/20.

Mexican Border period: 5/19/16 - 4/5/17 **

Spanish-American War: 4/21/1898 - 7/4/02 **

The Spanish-American War period also includes the Philippine Insurrection and Boxer Rebellion; in the case of a veteran who served in the United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Moro Province, the ending date is July 15, 1903.

Ownership Requirements

To be eligible for exemption, the property must be owned by the veteran, the spouse of the veteran, the un-remarried surviving spouse of the veteran, or, if allowed by local option, a Gold Star Parent (defined as the parent of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces during a period of war). (The fact that title to the property is in a veteran's spouse's name will not render a property ineligible to receive the exemption.) The ownership requirement is also satisfied if the veteran, the veteran's spouse, the veteran's un-remarried surviving spouse or the Gold Star Parent is the legal life tenant of the property. For purposes of this veterans' exemption, if the title to real property is held by a trustee or trustees, the property is eligible for a property tax exemption if the trustees or trust beneficiaries are otherwise qualified. If both the husband and wife are deceased, the exemption can be granted or continued for the veteran's dependent father, mother, or child(ren) under 21 years of age who have legally received the property and who use it as their primary residence. The property must also have been the primary residence of a qualified owner prior to his or her death. If the owner is a veteran and is also the un remarried surviving spouse of a veteran, the veteran may also receive any exemption to which the deceased spouse was entitled.

Proof of ownership must be submitted with the application. Generally, the deed to the property for which exemption is sought will be the best proof of ownership. However, 3 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 52, which applies to the senior citizens exemption, concludes that a person in possession of property and holding an executory contract of sale to the parcel has "ownership" of the parcel and is entitled to receive that exemption. Similarly, a veteran holding this type of executory contract of sale will also qualify as an "owner" for purposes of the alternative veterans exemption. A mortgage can also be used as proof of ownership. Make sure that the mortgage is for the property for which the exemption is being sought and that the owner(s) name(s) on the application form correspond to the mortgagor's name.

If the cooperative apartment provisions of RPTL �458-a(6) are allowed by local option, the apartment must be held in a cooperative form of ownership by a veteran who is a tenant/stockholder and resident of the apartment and satisfies all other conditions of the exemption. However, this exemption may not be granted to apartments subject to the provisions of Private Housing Finance Law Articles 2, 4, 5, or 11.

Residential and Occupancy Requirements

To be eligible for exemption, the property must be the primary residence of the veteran the un remarried surviving spouse of the veteran, or, if allowed by local option, a Gold Star Parent unless that person is absent from the property due to medical reasons or institutionalization.

In discussing what is a "legal residence" for purposes of the senior citizens exemption, we stated, "which dwelling is his legal residence depends upon such facts as where he votes, the length of time spent in each place, the nature and amount of personal property in each place, and other conduct and behavior evidencing which he considers to be his permanent home"(2 Op. Counsel SBEA No. 57). We believe that similar criteria should be applied in determining "primary residence" for purposes of �458-a. It is clear, however, that unlike the eligible funds veterans exemption (RPTL �458(1)), the alternative veterans exemption can only be granted to the primary residence of the veteran, and, if the veteran does not reside on the property, no exemption may be granted unless his absence is due to hospitalization or institutionalization. It is also clear that the "primary residence" issue needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

A veteran who is also requesting the additional 10 percent exemption for service in a combat zone or combat theatre must submit proof of the award of a United States campaign medal or ribbon documenting such service.

The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs has provided the following list of awards which, when included on separation of service forms, document service in a "combat theatre or combat zone." These medals were awarded to all qualifying veterans in all branches of the Armed Forces and are on the separation papers of such veterans. The qualifying awards are: World War I World War I Victory Ribbon with battle clasp World War II European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon, or Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon, or American Campaign Medal when awarded under certain conditions.*

Korean Korean Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medical Badge, or Combat Action Ribbon Vietnam Vietnam Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medical Badge, or Combat Action Ribbon Persian Gulf Southwest Asia Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medical Badge, or Combat Action Ribbon

Not all recipients of the World War II American Campaign Medal are eligible for the additional exemption for service in a combat zone or theatre. For a veteran to qualify for additional exemption based upon the receipt of the American Campaign Medal, the medal must have been awarded under one of the following conditions:

1. On permanent assignment outside the continental limits.

2. Permanently assigned as a member of a crew of a vessel sailing ocean waters for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days.

3. Outside the continental limits in a passenger status or on temporary duty for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days.

4. Awarded combat decoration or certificate when recipient actually participated in active combat against the enemy.

A veteran, therefore, who received the American Campaign Medal solely for service within the continental limits of the United States for an aggregate period of one year will not qualify for the additional exemption. Accordingly, to determine if a particular recipient of the American Campaign Medal qualifies for the additional exemption, it is necessary to examine the veteran's DD214 or other separation form to determine the basis for the award.

*The State Division of Veterans' Affairs expanded the list of qualifying World War II medals to include the American Campaign Medal after the original version of the Assessor's Guide to the Alternative Veterans was published. Assessors may wish to reconsider previously filed applications to determine if a recipient of the American Campaign Medal is now eligible to receive the additional exemption for service in a combat zone or theatre.

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Learn if You Qualify For Savings

To learn if you qualify for savings, please read each of the requirements listed above carefully. There are many types of exemptions, and if you need help in reviewing or researching your exemption, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The above information is courtesy of the New York State Office of Real Property Services.

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