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Volume 6 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 107

Opinions of Counsel index

Aged exemption (school taxes) (child in BOCES) - Education Law, § 1950; Real Property Tax Law, § 467:

Where a child resides with an applicant for the aged exemption (Real Property Tax Law, §467) and the child attends BOCES, the senior citizen is not entitled to an exemption from school taxes.

We have been asked to consider a situation in which an individual otherwise satisfying the requirements for an aged exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 467) has a 10-year old son who attends BOCES. The question is whether the senior citizen is entitled to an exemption from school tax.

Subdivision 2 of section 467 states that an “exemption from taxation for school purposes shall not be granted in the case of real property where a child resides if such child attends a public school of elementary or secondary education.” Thus, the question to be determined is whether the term “public school” includes BOCES.

The purpose of subdivision 2 of section 467 is that property in a school district should not be exempt from school taxes if a child resides on the property and attends a school which is supported by the school district’s taxes. There would appear to be no reason for distinguishing between different types of schools which are supported by the school district.

Subdivision 1 of section 1950 of the Education Law provides for the establishment of a Board of Cooperative Educational Services for the purpose of carrying out a program of shared educational services in the schools of the supervisory district and for providing instruction in such special subjects as the Commissioner of Education may approve. Subdivision 4(b) of this section provides two methods, either of which may be used, to compute the proportionate share of the administrative expenses of each of the school districts participating in the BOCES program. As far as other expenses are concerned, subdivision 1 of section 1951 of the Education Law provides in part:

The board shall allocate the cost of other services to the component school districts in accordance with terms agreed upon between such board and the boards of education and trustees of each component school district. The school authorities of each school district in the boards of cooperative education services shall add such amount to the budget of such school district and shall pay such amount to the treasurer of [BOCES ]. . . .

Since it is clear that the BOCES program derives its revenues, at least in. part, from moneys raised by school district taxes levied by all of the component schools, in our opinion, it is a “public school” within the meaning of subdivision 2 of section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law, and that, accordingly, no exemption from school taxes may be granted to the property of a senior citizen with whom a child attending BOCES resides.

March 31, 1978