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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 7

Opinions of Counsel index

Veterans’ exemption (eligible funds) (pension paid to children) - Real Property Tax Law, § 458:

Pursuant to section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law, property owned by an unremarried widow of a veteran is entitled to a veterans’ exemption to the extent of eligible funds paid to the children of the deceased veteran and used toward the reduction of a purchase money mortgage on such property.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the veterans exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 458). The facts are that the children of a deceased veteran are receiving benefits pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 542 and that such benefits are being applied toward the reduction of a purchase money mortgage on real property owned by the unremarried widow of the veteran. The question is whether the unremarried widow is entitled to a veterans exemption under such circumstances.

In order to qualify for this exemption, the applicant must be a member of the exempt class set forth in the statute (i.e., the veteran, his unremarried widow, his children under twenty-one years of age, or his dependent parents); the real property must be owned by a member of the exempt class; and the property must have been purchased with eligible funds (i.e., the proceeds of a pension, bonus or insurance).

There is no requirement that the applicant receive the eligible funds in his or her own right. Accordingly, since the benefits pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 542 constitute a pension payable to children where the widow is not qualified, all of the requirements of section 458 are satisfied in the situation set forth in the inquiry and the widow would be entitled to apply for this exemption if such moneys are, in fact, used toward the reduction of a purchase money mortgage.

August 26, 1974