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Volume 5 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 69

Opinions of Counsel index

Nonprofit health services corporations exemption (scope) (fire insurance companies) - Insurance Law, § 251:

The real property tax exemption given certain nonprofit medical and dental indemnity, or health and hospital services corporations by section 251 of the Insurance Law does not extend to fire insurance companies.

We have received an inquiry concerning the taxable status of a parcel of real property in a town owned by a local fire insurance company, which is used primarily for recreational purposes, but is also rented to the United States Government for Army Reserve use on evenings and weekends.

There is no statutory exemption for a fire insurance company under the laws of the State of New York. Section 251 of the Insurance Law (subd. 3) provides that certain health service corporations, including insurers, are eligible for exemption from city, county, municipal and school taxes. No such exemption applies to a fire insurer, however, and the fact that the property is at times rented out to an entity of the United States Government does not alter its taxable status. Therefore, the property in question should be placed on the taxable portion of the assessment roll.

April 21, 1976