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Exemptions from Real Property Taxation in New York State: 2012 County, City & Town Assessment Rolls

INTRODUCTION

All real property in New York is subject to taxation unless specific legal provisions grant it exempt status, whereas personal property is not subject to taxation. Real property tax exemptions are granted on the basis of many different criteria, including the use to which the property is put, the owner's ability to pay taxes, the desire of the state and local governments to encourage certain economic or social activities, and other such considerations.1 Certain exemptions provide full relief from taxation (wholly exempt property) and others reduce the taxes which would otherwise be payable by varying degrees (partially exempt property). Some exemptions apply to taxes levied for county, city/town, and school purposes, whereas others pertain only to some of these purposes. Yet another difference involves the extent of local government autonomy: while some exemptions are mandated by state law, others are subject to local option and/or local determination of eligibility criteria.

This report presents exemption data for 2012 assessment rolls prepared by local assessors throughout New York.2 It covers town, city, and county (Tompkins and Nassau Counties) assessment rolls only; village rolls are not included.

Ultimately, the accuracy of the figures presented depends on the accuracy of the data submitted on the rolls. Although the overwhelming majority of reported exemptions could be related to specific legal provisions through the standardized reporting system provided by the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), a very small percentage could not be classified because incorrect codes were used, and are thus omitted from certain tables in this report. Similarly, any errors made by assessors in determining the value of a parcel, or the extent to which this value is exempt from taxation, will appear in the data contained herein. Also, experience has shown that some assessors may not keep the values placed on wholly exempt property fully up to date, as valuation of such property has, for the most part, no effect on local tax revenue. Incorrect assessed values may overstate or understate the effect of exemptions on local tax bases.

The remainder of the report presents a summary of the 2012 statewide statistics on exempt property, followed by Appendix A which contains a list of abbreviations and definitions for terms used in the detailed tables that comprise Appendix B.

 Distribution of Exemptions by type of Ownership

Table 1.
Real Property Tax Exemptions by Property Group,
2012 Assessment Rolls
Group Number of
Exemptions
Equalized
Exempt Value
($000)
A. Residential Property other than Multiple Dwellings Non-Residential Property Owned by Certain Individuals 4,128,263 $222,595,073
B. Property of New York State Government and Agencies 19,953 80,796,035
C. Property of Municipal Governments and Agencies, School Districts, BOCES, and Special Districts 103,255 210,048,022
D. Property of U.S. and Foreign Governments and Agencies, International or Interstate Agencies, and Indian Tribes 4,048 51,814,832
E. Property of Private Community Service Organizations, Social Organizations, and Professional Societies 69,226 111,861,244
F. Industrial, Commercial, and Public Service Property 24,273 75,792,721
G. Urban Renewal Property, Public Housing, and Private Subsidized Housing (Multiple Dwellings) 117,928 65,307,646
H. Agricultural and Forest Property 103,792 7,092,909
Total, Valid Exemption Codes 4,570,738 825,308,482
Invalid Codes 3,084 958,119
TOTAL 4,573,822 $826,266,601

 

Table 2.
Exemptions for County Purposes:
Geographic Areas with Highest and Lowest Incidence of
Exempt Value, 2012 Assessment Rolls
A. TEN WITH HIGHEST INCIDENCE
  COUNTIES CITIES TOWNS
    Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
1. Tompkins 40.28% Rensselaer (Ren.) 65.23% Harrisburg (Lew.) 88.02%
2. Seneca 38.02% Ogdensburg (St. L.) 64.16% Martinsburg (Lew.) 88.02%
3. St. Lawrence 37.87% Salamanca (Cat.) 62.98% Ashford (Cat.) 87.06%
4. Lewis 37.38% Ithaca (Tom.) 61.90% Alfred (All.) 79.41%
5. Niagara 35.85% Troy (Ren.) 59.15% Romulus (Sen.) 78.24%
6. Oswego 34.35% Albany (Alb.) 59.11% Somerset (Nia.) 78.08%
7. Cattaraugus 33.85% Geneva (Ont.) 59.05% Clinton (Cli.) 77.18%
8. Allegany 33.83% Dunkirk (Cha.) 53.78% Athens (Gre.) 76.35%
9. Rensselaer 33.04% Oneonta (Ots.) 51.50% Marcy (One.) 75.36%
10. Albany 31.09% Syracuse (Ono.) 50.70% Eagle (Wyo.) 74.74%
 
B. TEN WITH LOWEST INCIDENCE
  COUNTIES CITIES TOWNS
    Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
1. Hamilton 7.97% Long Beach (Nas.) 10.52% Benson (Ham.) 1.18%
2. Putnam 10.97% Lockport (Nia.) 14.52% Arietta (Ham.) 2.35%
3. Warren 11.03% Mechanicville (Sar.) 15.06% Hope (Ham.) 2.48%
4. Ulster 14.12% Tonawanda (Eri.) 16.63% Inlet (Ham.) 2.72%
5. Washington 14.96% Rye (Wes.) 16.71% Wayne (Ste.) 2.98%
6. Saratoga 14.97% No. Tonawanda (Nia.) 17.21% Ohio (Her.) 3.10%
7. Rockland 15.41% Saratoga Spgs (Sar.) 18.41% Pittsfield (Ots.) 3.19%
8. Columbia 15.48% Glen Cove (Nas.) 19.05% Bolton (War.) 3.34%
9. Fulton 15.58% Sherrill (One.) 20.52% Ellicottville (Cat.) 3.44%
10. Schuyler 16.72% Port Jervis (Ora.) 21.63% Horicon (War.) 3.70%

 

 

Table 3.
Exemptions for County Purposes:
Counties Ranked by Percent of Full Value Exempt,
2012 Assessment Rolls*
Rank County No. of
Exemptions
Exempt Value
($000)
Pct. of
Value
Exempt
1. Tompkins 7,290 4,345,756 40.28%
2. Seneca 5,422 1,137,371 38.02%
3. St Lawrence 13,281 3,268,276 37.87%
4. Lewis 5,484 1,113,479 37.38%
5. Niagara 22,618 5,283,002

35.85%

6. Oswego 12,737 3,091,024 34.35%
7. Cattaraugus 11,398 2,019,229 33.85%
8. Allegany 7,630 938,575 33.83%
9. Rensselaer 15,270 5,073,507 33.04%
10. Albany 24,167 10,430,413 31.09%
11. Oneida 27,141 4,871,848 30.95%
12. Montgomery 6,856 954,476

30.75%

13. Wyoming 6,599 875,474 29.90%
14. Greene 5,483 2,257,097 29.37%
15. Jefferson 11,835 3,062,788 28.79%
16. Clinton 9,797 1,801,375 27.84%
17. Broome 18,502 3,527,392 27.17%
18. Steuben 14,736 1,942,948 27.00%
19. Schoharie 5,187 733,371 25.40%
20. Chautauqua 17,566 2,269,404 25.07%
21. Onondaga 45,744 8,499,485 24.95%
22. Livingston 7,974 1,066,073 24.68%
23. Yates 4,787 695,104 23.91%
24. Tioga 5,575 761,317 23.90%
25. Erie 95,667 14,580,092 23.62%
26. Westchester 41,299 47,144,611 23.53%
27. Madison 8,725 1,141,574 22.71%
28. Genesee 8,792 779,196 22.66%
29. Chemung 8,176 1,129,979 22.30%
30. Cortland 5,517 621,262 21.76%
31. Nassau 83,781 57,190,232 21.73%
32. Otsego 7,036 1,231,666 21.71%
33. Ontario 11,528 2,221,240 21.52%
34. Schenectady 13,250 2,653,646 21.43%
35. Franklin 4,459 968,145 21.24%
36. Essex 6,562 1,645,967 20.90%
37. Dutchess 21,141 8,115,094 20.76%
38. Wayne 10,652 1,212,212 20.68%
39. Cayuga 11,180 1,122,653 20.64%
40. Suffolk 131,964 67,165,220 20.57%
41. Monroe 58,690 9,820,548 19.97%
42. Orleans 5,509 402,339 19.97%
43. Sullivan 9,582 1,957,774 19.82%
44. Herkimer 7,073 1,038,556 19.55%
45. Chenango 6,699 567,459 19.34%
46. Orange 25,799 7,381,896 19.07%
47. Delaware 5,433 1,181,156 17.48%
48. Schuyler 3,104 256,224 16.72%
49. Fulton 6,325 573,315 15.58%
50. Columbia 8,779 1,376,638 15.48%
51. Rockland 18,471 6,631,104 15.41%
52. Saratoga 15,779 3,872,824 14.97%
53. Washington 8,794 838,198 14.96%
54. Ulster 15,940 3,007,176 14.12%
55. Warren 6,818 1,294,828 11.03%
56. Putnam 7,263 1,666,829 10.97%
57. Hamilton 998 241,005 7.97%
*Excludes New York City boroughs; New York City data included in Table 4.

 

Table 4.
Exemptions for County Purposes:
Cities Ranked by Percent of Full Value Exempt,
2012 Assessment Rolls
Rank County No. of
Exemptions
Exempt Value
($000)
Pct. of
Value
Exempt
1. Rensselaer 762 828,950 65.23%
2. Ogdensburg 1,227 493,814 64.16%
3. Salamanca 1,416 156,412 62.98%
4. Ithaca 943 2,495,335 61.90%
5. Troy 2,846 2,619,934 59.15%
6. Albany 7,011 6,519,375 59.11%
7. Geneva 1,060 510,259 59.05%
8. Dunkirk 1,397 396,954 53.78%
9. Oneonta 560 435,049 51.50%
10. Syracuse 8,618 4,481,608 50.70%
11. Peekskill 1,021 1,590,486 49.44%
12. Niagara Falls 5,525 1,112,173 44.25%
13. Watervliet 590 313,948 43.93%
14. Little Falls 424 123,134 43.34%
15. Rome 3,831 856,860 42.92%
16. Jamestown 2,533 393,568 37.37%
17. Buffalo 23,711 3,768,417 36.90%
18. Norwich 491 118,830 36.71%
19. Schenectady 4,547 1,270,742 36.47%
20. Yonkers 7,525 8,529,985 36.37%
21. Utica 5,455 817,441 36.25%
22. Cortland 1,067 297,681 36.23%
23. Elmira 2,054 358,035 35.98%
24. Plattsburgh 1,345 498,274 35.67%
25. Hudson 627 202,815 34.97%
26. White Plains 1,705 3,973,132 34.86%
27. Oswego 1,385 416,284 34.81%
28. Newburgh 1,030 533,751 34.51%
29. Hornell 871 117,167 33.80%
30. Olean 1,423 248,964 33.23%
31. Binghamton 3,495 710,034 33.04%
32. Auburn 2,473 460,376 32.69%
33. New York City 942,582 359,327,301 32.54%
34. Watertown 1,995 505,278 30.57%
35. Canandaigua 696 285,729 29.99%
36. Rochester 11,601 2,448,436 29.42%
37. New Rochelle 2,475 3,727,556 29.34%
38. Amsterdam 1,573 195,198 28.89%
39. Lackawanna 2,128 182,464 28.45%
40. Corning 1,097 207,156 28.44%
41. Gloversville 1,359 140,783 28.36%
42. Poughkeepsie 1,482 694,246 28.33%
43. Cohoes 1,147 278,770 28.26%
44. Johnstown 814 135,827 25.62%
45. Batavia 1,396 184,766 25.61%
46. Glens Falls 1,126 309,599 24.93%
47. Beacon 887 340,619 24.48%
48. Mt Vernon 1,755 1,376,841 24.45%
49. Middletown 1,189 399,679 23.31%
50. Oneida 1,105 147,598 23.17%
51. Kingston 1,355 449,093 22.74%
52. Fulton 1,035 95,596 21.72%
53. Port Jervis 652 109,527 21.63%
54. Sherrill 409 42,398 20.52%
55. Glen Cove 897 863,492 19.05%
56. Saratoga Springs 1,635 846,584 18.41%
57. North Tonawanda 3,815 253,362 17.21%
58. Rye 626 1,344,174 16.71%
59. Tonawanda 2,030 118,142 16.63%
60. Mechanicville 276 36,496 15.06%
61. Lockport 1,534 120,182 14.52%
62. Long Beach 1,363 575,624 10.52%

 


Table 5.
Exemptions for County Purposes:
Towns with Over 50 Percent Full Value Exempt,
2012 Assessment Rolls
Rank Town No. of
Exemptions
Exempt Value
($000)
Pct. of
Value Exempt
1. Harrisburg 233 229,844 88.02%
2. Martinsburg 483 335,821 88.02%
3. Ashford 343 831,748 87.06%
4. Alfred 289 361,588 79.41%
5. Romulus 431 518,060 78.24%
6. Somerset 382 492,960 78.08%
7. Clinton 204 137,916 77.18%
8. Athens 554 1,423,632 76.35%
9. Marcy 708 1,241,466 75.36%
10. Eagle 353 161,379 74.74%
11. Wethersfield 274 119,982 73.37%
12. Greenwood 264 135,841 71.68%
13. Le Ray 764 1,073,235 70.61%
14. Massena 1,329 1,196,206 68.86%
15. Lewiston 1,559 2,154,507 68.82%
16. Chateaugay 307 154,630 67.60%
17. Blenheim 144 74,518 67.22%
18. Altona 371 175,779 64.35%
19. Scriba 708 1,733,935 63.46%
20. Florida 482 282,368 60.06%
21. Cohocton 669 157,214 59.60%
22. Sheldon 508 194,400 57.11%
23. Eaton 658 244,151 56.30%
24. Fairfield 318 100,489 53.35%
25. Ellenburg 418 127,867 53.05%
26. Hamilton 586 278,127 51.26%
27. Waddington 396 138,135 51.14%
28. Delhi 360 361,143 51.07%
29. Sharon 390 97,176 50.52%
30. Junius 358 58,210

50.36%

 

 

Table 6.
Geographic Areas with Highest and Lowest Incidence of
Local-Option Exempt Value, 2012 Assessment Rolls

A. TEN WITH HIGHEST INCIDENCE
  COUNTIES CITIES TOWNS
    Pct.
Local-
Option*
  Pct.
Local-
Option*
  Pct.
Local-
Option*
1 Lewis 46.57% Lackawanna (Eri.)

30.37%

Harrisburg (Lew.) 95.68%
2 Oswego 41.91% Saratoga Spgs (Sar.) 28.08% Martinsburg (Lew.) 88.68%
3 Hamilton 20.02% Johnstown (Ful.) 24.32% Scriba (Osw.) 84.64%
4 Wayne 19.05% Cohoes (Alb.) 23.81% Ontario (Way.) 64.95%
5 Nassau 16.85% Auburn (Cay.) 19.66% Fenner (Mad.) 64.32%
6 Fulton 16.63% Long Beach (Nas.) 18.39% Shelter Island (Suf.) 49.48%
7 Columbia 16.33% Glen Cove (Nas.) 17.18% Madison (Mad.) 46.51%
8 Orleans 14.77% No. Tonawanda (Nia.) 15.30% Lake Pleasant (Ham.) 40.93%
9 Monroe 13.87% Tonawanda (Eri.) 15.10% Chautauqua (Cha.) 40.62%
10 Washington 13.81% Hudson (Col.) 14.79% St. Armand (Ess.) 39.95%

B. TEN WITH LOWEST INCIDENCE
  COUNTIES CITIES TOWNS
      Pct.
Local-
Option*
    Pct.
Local-
Option*
    Pct.
Local-
Option*
1 Tompkins 3.44% Ithaca (Tom.) 1.24% Red House (Cat.) 0.22%
2 Allegany 4.21% LIttle Falls (Her.) 2.36% Alfred (All.) 0.58%
3 Delaware 4.59% White Plains (Wes.) 2.55% Ashford (Cat.) 0.61%
4 Wyoming 5.24% Geneva (Ont.) 3.08% Romulus (Sen.) 0.67%
5 St Lawrence 5.60% Albany (Alb.) 3.54% Eagle (Wyo.) 0.81%
6 Cattaraugus 5.79% Peekskill (Wes.) 3.57% Norway (Her.) 0.82%
7 Niagara 5.94%

Rensselaer (Ren.)

4.38% Clinton (Cli.) 0.88%
8 Yates 5.94% Dunkirk (Cha.) 4.50% Delhi (Del.) 0.93%
9 Greene 6.27% Ogdensburg (St. L) 4.63% Sheldon (Wyo.) 1.04%
10 Montgomery 6.39% Salamanca (Cat.) 4.66% Somerset (Nia.) 1.16%

*Exempt value of local-option exemptions divided by total exempt value.


Table 7.
Exempt Value Attributable to Local Option, Counties Ranked by Percent of Exempt Value, 2012 Assessment Rolls
Rank County Exempt Value
Local Option
($000)
Total
Exempt Value
($000)
Pct. of
Value
Exempt
1. Lewis 651,685 1,399,234 46.57%
2. Oswego 1,774,323 4,234,073 41.91%
3. Hamilton 65,014 324,728 20.02%
4. Wayne 415,369 2,180,812 19.05%
5. Nassau 14,731,747 87,443,555 16.85%
6. Fulton 187,971 1,130,620 16.63%
7 Columbia 325,461 1,992,506 16.33%
8. Orleans 119,607 809,661 14.77%
9. Monroe 2,237,111 16,126,764 13.87%
10. Washington 203,241 1,472,119 13.81%
11. Saratoga 925,040 6,733,745 13.74%
12. Cayuga 248,516 1,889,512 13.15%
13. Schenectady 526,184 4,056,522 12.97%
14. Erie 2,924,334 22,608,781 12.93%
15. Rockland 1,484,639 11,628,703 12.77%
16. Onondaga 1,589,003 12,491,420 12.72%
17. Suffolk 11,370,432 91,267,468 12.46%
18. Madison 227,298 1,824,975 12.45%
19. Herkimer 209,078 1,701,092 12.29%
20. Warren 241,055 1,972,784 12.22%
21. Putnam 410,291 3,391,625 12.10%
22. Broome 636,945 5,348,081 11.91%
23. Ulster 585,419 4,921,424 11.90%
24. Dutchess 1,307,021 11,911,065 10.97%
25. Rensselaer 658,326 6,424,145 10.25%
26. Essex 208,669 2,067,695 10.09%
27. Chautauqua

346,177

3,575,727 9.68%
28. Livingston 159,968 1,657,335 9.65%
29. Orange 1,078,329 11,222,873 9.61%
30. Genesee 128,836 1,381,335 9.33%
31. Cortland 95,567 1,047,985 9.12%
32. Albany 1,092,153 12,904,093 8.46%
33. Sullivan 216,591 2,567,928 8.43%
34. Oneida 593,236 7,042,046 8.42%
35. Westchester 5,299,620 65,657,073 8.07%
36. Jefferson 315,985 3,931,538 8.04%
37. Seneca 117,075 1,480,223 7.91%
38. Clinton 196,397 2,516,067 7.81%
39. Ontario 255,083 3,313,238 7.70%
40. Chenango 81,679 1,085,249 7.53%
41. Tioga 96,742 1,307,199 7.40%
42. Schoharie 77,464 1,064,927 7.27%
43. Otsego 131,206 1,825,923 7.19%
44. Steuben 200,246 2,949,680 6.79%
45. Chemung 134,396 1,986,779 6.76%
46. Franklin 92,673 1,413,356 6.56%
47. Schuyler 30,319 465,020 6.52%
48. Montgomery 92,076 1,441,436 6.39%
49. Greene 177,492 2,832,028 6.27%
50. Yates 56,512 950,662 5.94%
51. Niagara 441,288 7,431,637 5.94%
52. Cattaraugus 161,251 2,786,237 5.79%
53. St Lawrence 241,712 4,319,109 5.60%
54. Wyoming 67,261 1,283,540 5.24%
55. Delaware 78,730 1,715,914 4.59%
56. Allegany 58,699 1,394,261 4.21%
57. Tompkins 173,092 5,035,769 3.44%

 


Table 8.
City/Town Distribution of Exempt Value Attributable to Local Option Exemptions: 2012 Assessment Rolls
Percent of Value in
Local Option Exemptions
Number of
Cities/Towns
Percent of
Cities/Towns
0 - 9.99 544 54.73%
10 - 19.99 383 38.53%
20 - 29.99 48 4.83%
30 - 39.99 10 1.01%
40 or more 9 0.91%

1 Most exemptions are granted under Article 4 of the Real Property Tax Law, but others are authorized by a wide variety of statutes ranging from the Agriculture and Markets Law to the Transportation Law.

2The material in the report relates to exemptions only. Not covered are the restricted assessments which apply to certain types of property (e.g., condominiums), tax abatement programs, and formerly real property which has been statutorily redefined as personal (non-taxable) property (e.g., certain switching equipment owned by telephone companies). Restricted assessments, tax abatements, and statutory redefinitions, like exemptions, are tax expenditures in that they reduce or shift tax liability.

 

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Updated: October 17, 2013