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01/03/2022 Assessment Community Weekly

New ORPTS Northern Region Director 

Starting the year with some good news, Mary Ellen Nagengast has been appointed as the new Director of the Northern Region. Mary Ellen brings a wealth of experience from her work in the legislative and executive branches of New York State government. Since 2017 she has been part of the ORPTS management team. In 2021, she became a member of RPTAC.

Mary Ellen is looking forward to working with and getting to know the local officials in the sixteen counties in the Northern Region.

2022 STAR handout for new homeowners

With the arrival of 2022, new homeowners can now begin registering for the 2022 STAR credit. The registration application will prompt them for their 2020 income.

The STAR credit handout for new homeowners is updated to reflect the new year and the new income limit ($92,000).

In addition, Register for the STAR credit is updated.

Alt Vets Q and A

Q. Under a recent amendment to the Alternative Veterans exemption, the commencement date of the Vietnam War has been changed from February 28, 1961 to November 1, 1955. Should those veterans who served during that period and who are receiving a Cold War Veterans exemption be automatically switched to the Alternative Veterans exemption?

A. Persons who served in the military between 9/2/1945 and 12/26/1991 are generally eligible for the Cold War Veterans exemption authorized by RPTL 458-b, assuming they meet the eligibility requirements (and are not already getting an Eligible Funds Veterans exemption (458) or an Alternative Veterans exemption (458-a)). As a result of Chapter 606 of the laws of 2021, the subset of Cold War exemption recipients who served between 11/1/1955 and 2/28/1961 may now be eligible to switch to the Alternative Veterans exemption (they cannot receive both).

If an assessor can readily identify the veterans with Cold War exemptions who served between 11/1/1955 and 2/28/1961, nothing would prevent the assessor from reaching out to those veterans and inviting them to apply for the Alternative Veterans Exemption. However, in our non-binding opinion, they should not be automatically switched to the Alternative Veterans exemption without application, because there’s nothing in the law that provides for automatic switching or that otherwise changes the procedure for obtaining the exemption. If they wish to switch to the Alternative Veterans exemption, they may apply for it in the manner provided by law.

Reminder: When properties sell

The beginning of the year is a great time for this reminder. After a property sells, don’t forget to:

  • transmit the sale and any changes to ORPTS (see Sales usability criteria),
  • update your roll to reflect the sale inventory, and
  • update the IVP record to indicate the property was sold.

ICYMI: Local governments now have the option to forego 467 and 459-c renewals for 2022

Last week, Governor Hochul issued Executive Order No. 11.1, which makes it possible for senior citizens and persons with disabilities to have their 2022 property tax exemptions renewed without filing renewal applications, as requested by the New York State Assessors Association.

This measure is optional for assessing units, unlike Chapter 381 of the Laws of 2020 (see our write-up in the January 4 edition), which made the waiver of the renewal requirement mandatory for 2021 assessment rolls. The option granted under the executive order rests solely with assessing units. If the governing body of an assessing unit adopts a resolution pursuant to this Executive Order eliminating the renewal requirement for these two exemptions on the 2022 assessment roll, the resolution will eliminate the renewal requirement for purposes of all jurisdictions that levy taxes on the 2022 assessment roll of that assessing unit.

Example: A town is an assessing unit, and county, village and school district taxes are levied on the town’s assessment roll. They all offer the 459-c and 467 exemption. If the town opts in, the 459-c and 467 exemptions may be renewed on the town’s 2022 assessment roll without a renewal application for county, town, village and school district purposes.

Note: The governing body may also, at its option, include language in its resolution that authorizes the assessor to require a renewal application when the assessor has reason to believe that an owner who received the exemption on the 2021 roll may have since changed his or her primary residence, added another owner to the deed, transferred the property to a new owner, or died.

Governor Hochul said, "The thousands of low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on property tax exemptions should not have to risk their health and safety to remain in their homes. With this Order, I am allowing local governments to take common sense action to protect seniors from COVID-19, provide tax relief to those who need it most, and prevent vulnerable New Yorkers from losing their homes this winter."

New Judicial case

We’ve added 315 E. 72nd St. Owners, Inc. v Commissioner of Fin. of the City of N.Y. to New Judicial cases.