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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 51

Opinions of Counsel index

Aged exemption (income requirement) (social security for support of minor children) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467(3)(a):

Social Security payments made to an aged couple for the support of their minor children must be included in determining income for purposes of the aged exemption.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the income requirement of section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law which authorizes a partial tax exemption on the legal residence of certain senior citizens.

The question is whether the amount of social security payments made to an aged couple for the support of their minor children constitutes income to the parents and whether it must be reported as such under this exemption statute. The amount paid for the support of the children is included in the remittance made to one of the parents.

Paragraph 3(a) of section 467 provides that income shall include social security and retirement benefits, interest, dividends, rental income, salary or earnings, and income from self-employment, but shall not include gifts or inheritances.

Social security benefits for the support of a minor child are predicated upon the earnings of the parent. They are paid to the parent for the support of the minor child. Accordingly, it is our opinion that such payments constitute income and must be computed as such for the purpose of this exemption.

May 11, 1971