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Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 49

Opinions of Counsel index

Farm exemption (garage used to house farm machinery) - Real Property Tax Law, § 483:

A five-stall garage used to house farm machinery such as tractors and a pick-up truck would be eligible for exemption under § 483 of the Real Property Tax Law if it is constructed to service the farming operation and is separate and apart from the residence.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether a five-stall garage used to house farm machinery such as tractors and a pick-up truck would be eligible for exemption under section 483 of the Real Property Tax Law.

This law provides, insofar as pertinent to this question, as follows:

“2. The term ‘structures and buildings’ shall include:
(a) structures and buildings or portions thereof used directly and exclusively in the raising and production for sale of agricultural and horticultural commodities or necessary for the storage thereof, but not structures and buildings or portions thereof used for the processing of agricultural and horticultural commodities, or the retail merchandising of such commodities; (b) * * * but not including structures and buildings occupied as a residence by the applicant and his immediate family.” (Real Property Tax Law, section 483, (3))

A garage which is constructed as an adjunct to a residence is considered as part of the residence and, therefore, outside the scope of the coverage of the statute. However, if a garage were constructed to service the farming operation, and as a matter of fact is separate and apart from the residence and does not service the residence, you may determine that the structure is essential to bona fide agricultural activity and conforms to the statutory requirements.

January 6, 1972

Updated: