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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 107

Opinions of Counsel index

Agricultural societies exemption (fair association) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 450, 550:

Property owned by an agricultural society, while possibly exempt from taxation, will nevertheless be subject to taxation if it is used for any nonagricultural purposes. If it is determined that property is not entitled to an exemption, then it should be entered on the taxable portion of the roll both for the current year and the preceding year.

We have received an inquiry requesting our opinion in regard to the taxable status of real property located in a town and owned by the town fair association.

It seems that the town fair association was originally incorporated as an agricultural society. The property in question is now used annually by the county fair association for the county fair, and, in addition, it is used during the summer for stock car racing.

It is our opinion that, even if this property is owned by an agricultural society (and therefore possibly eligible for exemption pursuant to section 450 of the Real Property Tax Law), such property would be subject to taxation if it were used for any purpose other than for the annual agricultural exhibition.

The property cannot be removed from the taxable portion of the assessment roll by the town board of assessment review absent a grievance complaint by the owner of the property in question. However, if it is determined that the property is not entitled to an exemption, then it should be entered on the taxable portion of the 1973 assessment roll both for the current year and for the preceding year (i.e., the roll prepared in 1972). The latter action can be taken pursuant to section 550 of the Real Property Tax Law which authorizes the inclusion on the current assessment roll of property omitted from the last prior roll, such action being permitted upon the motion of the assessors or upon the application of any taxpayer within the assessing unit.

June 21, 1972

NOTE:  Construes law prior to L.1974, c.177.

Updated: