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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 56

Opinions of Counsel index

Farm structures and buildings exemption (effect of revaluation or condition of property) - Real Property Tax Law, § 483(1):

Where there is a revaluation program and accompanying change in the level of assessment, the change is reflected in the assessment of the farm structure and exemption thereof. If a farm structure is in a collapsed state on taxable status date, there no longer is any increase in assessment by reason of its construction, and, accordingly, there is no remaining exemption.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the exemption of newly constructed farm buildings provided by section 483 of the Real Property Tax Law. Specifically, the inquiry is how the exemption should be handled (1) if the level of assessment is increased because of a revaluation, and (2) if the structure falls down.

The exemption provided by section 483 of the Real Property Tax Law is an exemption “ . . . to the extent of any increase in value thereof by reason of such construction or reconstruction”, and “the assessed value of any exemption” is entered on the exempt part of the assessment roll. The exemption continues only as long as the buildings or structures are actually occupied and used for farming.

Accordingly, where there is a revaluation program, and there is an accompanying change in the level of assessment, this change would be reflected in the assessment of the farm building or structure and the exemption thereof.

As to the exemption of buildings or structures which collapse or are otherwise destroyed, the basic concept that property be assessed according to its condition and ownership on taxable status date should be applied. If a building falls down, there no longer is any “increase in assessment by reason of its construction”, and, accordingly, there is no remaining exemption. The assessment of the parcel should be adjusted to reflect market value, and if the collapse of the building makes the property less valuable in the real estate market, this should be reflected in the assessment.

July 7, 1972

Updated: