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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 30

Opinions of Counsel index

Real property, definition of (trailers) (campers) - Real Property Tax Law, § 102(12)(g):

A camper should be considered taxable real property if it is located in one spot on a year-round basis and if it is used as a permanent residence or for business purposes.

We have received an inquiry as to the classification of campers for taxation purposes.

A camper should be considered taxable real property only if it has been adapted to permanent residential or business use (Real Property Tax Law, § 102(12)(g)). By this, we mean “lived in” on a daily year-round basis.

The reason is that a constitutional problem might arise if these very mobile self-contained campers which are not connected to any utilities are classified as real property merely because they have been “parked” in a jurisdiction for a half or full year. Obviously, they must be parked somewhere. The Court of Appeals inferred in New York Mobile Homes Ass’n v. Steckel, 9 N.Y.2d 533, 175 N.E.2d 151, 215 N.Y.S.2d 487, that some form of “affixation” or permanence might be required. In the case of these campers, this is lacking except in rare instances.

Our conclusion is, therefore, that campers are not taxable real property unless they are located in one spot on a year-round basis and are used as permanent residences or for business purposes.

July 24, 1972

NOTE:  Construes law prior to L.2003, c.539.

Updated: