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Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 14

Opinions of Counsel index

Farm exemption (residence of immediate family) - Real Property Tax Law, § 483:

An exemption under this section may be granted for living quarters occupied by employees who are not members of the immediate family. Married children living apart from the applicant are not members of the immediate family for purposes of this exemption.

A question has been raised as to whether living quarters occupied by a regular and essential employee of a farm qualify for exemption pursuant to section 483 of the Real Property Tax Law in the event that such employee is also the married son-in-law of the applicant.

The requirement for which an interpretation is sought is set forth in section 483 as follows:

“The term ‘structures and buildings’ shall include: . . . (b) structures and buildings used to provide housing for regular and essential employees and their immediate families who are primarily employed in connection with the operation of lands actively devoted to agricultural and horticultural use, but not including structures and buildings occupied as a residence by the applicant and his immediate family.”

It is the opinion of this office that the term “immediate family” does not include the married children of an applicant who are living apart from that applicant. Therefore, in the event that such employees can be termed “regular and essential”, and further, assuming that the remaining requirements of section 483 are satisfied, living quarters for such persons qualify for exemption pursuant to section 483.

July 15, 1970