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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 6

Opinions of Counsel index

Aged exemption (income requirement) (monthly payment for care of “welfare children”) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467:

A monthly payment made by the Department of Social Services to an applicant for the aged exemption for the care of “welfare children” living in the applicant’s home is not income for purposes of this exemption. However, if the children attend public school in the district, the property would not be entitled to an exemption from school taxes.

We have received an inquiry concerning the income requirements of section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law, the partial exemption for senior citizens.

          The specific question raised is whether $100 per month per child, which the applicant received from the Department of Social Services for the care of children living on the premises, constitutes income under this exemption statute.

This payment by the Department of Social Services is intended merely to cover the ordinary living expenses of such children and is not expected to constitute any profit to the taxpayer nor even any remuneration for his services in caring for these children. Therefore, it is our opinion that this payment is not income for purposes of this exemption and that it would appear to be contrary to the public interest to treat it as income.

On the other hand this property will not be exempt from school district taxes if any of these children attend public school in the district. It is our opinion that if the school district provides for their education the cost of doing so must be shared by the property owner as any other ordinary living expense for the child. The cost in this case is directly related to a service furnished by the school district for the child.

November 2, 1967
Revised March 27, 1974