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Volume 5 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 84

Opinions of Counsel index

Veterans’ exemption (ownership) (condominium unit) - Real Property Law, § 339-y; Real Property Tax Law, § 458:

An owner of a condominium unit may receive a veterans’ exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 458) from the assessment of such property.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether or not an individual may receive a veterans’ exemption from real property taxation (Real Property Tax Law, § 458) based on his ownership of a condominium unit.

Condominiums are assessed pursuant to section 339-y of the Real Property Law which provides as follows:

§ 339-y Separate taxation

Each unit and its common interest, not including any personal property, shall be deemed to be a parcel and shall be subject to separate assessment and taxation by each assessing unit, school district, special district, county or other taxing unit, for all types of taxes authorized by law including but not limited to special ad valorem levies and special assessments, except that the foregoing shall not apply to a unit held under lease or sublease unless the declaration requires the unit owner to pay all taxes attributable to his unit. Neither the building, the property nor any of the common elements shall be deemed to be a parcel. In no event shall the aggregate of the assessment of the units plus the common interests exceed the total valuation of the property were the property assessed as a parcel. For the purposes of this and the next succeeding section the terms “assessing unit”, “assessment”, “parcel”, “special ad valorem levy”, “special assessment”, “special district”, “taxation” and “taxes” shall have the meanings specified in section one hundred two of the real property tax law.

As indicated in this statute, each unit of the condominium and its common interest is deemed to be a “parcel” and is subject to separate assessment and taxation. This section also provides that “parcel” as used in section 339-y is defined in section 102 of the Real Property Tax Law.

Subdivision 11 of section 102 defines “parcel” as “a separately assessed lot, parcel, piece or portion of real property.” “Real property” is defined in subdivision 12 of section 102. Section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law indicates that “real property” purchased with eligible funds and owned by certain designated persons may receive a veterans’ exemption.

Consequently, based on the foregoing, it is our opinion that assuming the other statutory criteria set forth in section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law are met, a veteran owning a condominium unit is entitled to receive an exemption pursuant to such section.

June 15, 1976

NOTE: Chapter 241 of the Laws of 1976 designated the former section 339-y of the Real Property Law, set forth above, as subdivision 1 of such section and enacted a new subdivision 2 dealing with the authority of a condominium’s board of managers to seek a review of assessments.