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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 4

Opinions of Counsel index

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (taxable status of leased property) - Public Authorities Law, § 1275:

Real property owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is exempt from taxation regardless of the fact that it is leased to private persons.

We have received an inquiry concerning the taxable status of property belonging to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“M.T.A.”).

The specific question is whether property of the M.T.A. which is leased to private persons is taxable just as leased county-owned property is taxable.

The law controlling the exemption of county-owned property (Real Property Tax Law, § 406) requires that the property be “held for a public use”. Thus, county property which is leased for private purposes is taxable since it is not “held for a public use” (Town of Harrison v. County of Westchester, 13 N.Y.2d 258, 196 N.E.2d 240, 246 N.Y.S.2d 593).

However, the law which confers a tax exemption upon property owned by the M.T.A. (Public Authorities Law, § 1275) has no such requirement. Therefore, where title is in the M.T.A. (and this is the fact situation here), the property is exempt regardless of the use.

May 9, 1972