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Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 53

Opinions of Counsel index

Aged exemption (length of ownership) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467:

For the purpose of computing the five-year period of ownership required by this section, the period of ownership of a former residence may be combined with the ownership period of newly acquired property, provided that (1) the new property is acquired within one year from the time the former property is sold, and (2) it is located in the same assessing unit.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether the partial tax exemption, authorized by section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law would be available to an otherwise qualified person who had voluntarily sold a residence which she had owned for some thirty-six years, and acquired a new residence in the same village.

Subdivision 3(b) of section 467 provides that no exemption shall be granted unless title to the property has been vested in the owner or, if there is more than one owner, in all of the owners for at least sixty consecutive months prior to the date the application is filed for this exemption. Chapter 954 of the Laws of 1971 amended section 467 to permit the combining of the time of ownership of property recently acquired with property formerly owned and voluntarily disposed of in the same assessing unit for the purpose of computing the required five-year period of ownership, provided that the new property was acquired within one year from the time the former property was sold.

An assessing unit is defined to mean a city, town, village or a county having a county department of assessment with the power to assess real property (Real Property Tax Law, section 102, subdivision 1). Assuming therefore, that the women in question sold her residence of some thirty-six years and within one year of the sale acquired a new residence in the same village, under the provisions of the amendment to section 467 discussed above, she would meet the length of ownership provision of section 467 in that the periods of ownership of her former residence and new residence, when combined, exceed five years. In that case, assuming she meets all of the other requirements of section 467, she would be eligible for this partial exemption on village taxes.

January 13, 1972