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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 36

Opinions of Counsel index

State of New York exemption (land leased to private individual for fanning) - Mental Hygiene Law, § 60; Real Property Tax Law §§ 404, 564:

Since the exemption provided by section 404 of the Real Property Tax Law is not conditioned upon use, land of the Gowanda State Hospital rented to a private individual for farming should remain on the exempt portion of the roll except for any special ad valorem levies or special assessments levied for the purposes listed in section 490 of the Real Property Tax Law.

However, improvements constructed by the lessee are subject to taxation pursuant to section 564 of the Real Property Tax Law.

Our opinion has been requested as to the taxability of land of the Gowanda State Hospital rented to a private individual for farming.

Gowanda State Hospital, a corporate institution for the care of the mentally ill, is constituted pursuant to section 60 of the Mental Hygiene Law. As such it is designated as state-owned land (In re Hicka, 180 Misc. 173, 40 N.Y.S.2d 267; General Mutual Insurance Company v. Coyle, 207 Misc. 362, 136 N.Y.S.2d 43).

Pursuant to section 404 of the Real Property Tax Law, real property owned by the State of New York is exempt from real property taxation and from special ad valorem levies and special assessments to the extent provided in section 490 of the Real Property Tax Law. This exemption is not conditioned upon use, and, therefore, the property in question should remain on the exempt portion of the roll except for any special ad valorem levies or special assessments levied for the purposes listed in section 490.

If, however, the farmer-lessee constructs any improvements upon the land in question, such improvements are subject to taxation pursuant to section 564 of the Real Property Tax Law.

August 2, 1972

Updated: