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Volume 11 - Opinions of Counsel SBRPS No. 34 (rev.)

Opinions of Counsel index

Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth exemption (scope) (special ad valorem levies); Nonprofit organizations exemption (general) (applicability to organization enacted and exempted by special act) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 102(14), 420 a, 420-b; Social Services Law, § 472-p:

The exemption for real property owned by the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth is governed by section 420-a of the Real Property Tax Law, not Social Services Law, section 472-p. Berkshire Farm’s property is not liable for special ad valorem levies for fire district and ambulance district purposes.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the scope of the exemption from taxation afforded real property owned by the Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth [hereafter Berkshire Farm] (Social Services Law, §472-p). The first question is whether the scope of the Berkshire Farm’s exemption is governed by the cited provision of the Social Services Law or the nonprofit organizations exemption (Real Property Tax Law, §§420-a, 420-b). The second question is whether real property owned by Berkshire Farm is exempt from special ad valorem levies for a town fire district and a town ambulance district.

The original version of this opinion concluded that section 472-p of the Social Services Law provided the real property tax exemption for Berkshire Farm and that its property was liable for special ad valorem levies for fire district and ambulance district purposes. The court in Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth v. Surprise, 23 A.D.3d 750, 803 N.Y.S.2d 731 (3d Dept., 2005), app. den., 6 N.Y.3d 707, 845 N.E.2d 1274, 812 N.Y.S.2d 443 (2006) reached the conclusion expressed in the above headnote.

October 22, 2002
Revised July 22, 2008

Updated: