Volume 1 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 87
Aged exemption (income) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467:
Disability payments received by a veteran from the Veterans’ Administration constitute income for purposes of the aged exemption.
We have received an inquiry as to whether “total disability payments” received by a veteran from the Veterans’ Administration constitute income for purposes of the aged exemption (Real Property Tax Law, section 467).
The intention of the Legislature in enacting section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law was to assist and encourage elderly persons living on low fixed incomes to remain in their homes despite increases in real property taxes. Therefore, subdivision 3 of this section provides in part, “No exemption shall be granted (a) [i]f the income of the owner or the combined income of the owners of the property for the income tax year immediately preceding the date of making application for exemption exceeds the sum of three thousand dollars, . . . [s]uch income shall include social security and retirement benefits, interest, dividends, net rental income, salary or earnings, and net income from self-employment, but shall not include gifts or inheritances . . . ”.
We have consistently held in prior opinions that “income” for purposes of this exemption means the total cash inflow, excluding gifts and inheritances , and therefore would include salary and wages (including bonuses), interest (including nontaxable interest on State and local bonds), dividends, net rentals, net earnings from a business or profession, net income from estates or trusts, gains from sales and exchanges, net farm income, the total amount received from social security, the total amount received from governmental or private pension plans, alimony or support money, disability payments, and workmen’s compensation.
The apparent intention of the Legislature in providing for the income requirement was to exclude anyone who had a certain amount of cash accruing to him with which to meet expenses during the income tax year immediately preceding the date of making application for the exemption. These standards are set forth in the statute and are mandated by the Legislature and may only be amended by the Legislature.
February 24, 1972
NOTE: Construes law prior to L.1997, c.168.