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Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 82

Opinions of Counsel index

Veterans’ exemption (member of exempt class) - Real Property Tax Law, § 458:

A woman divorced from her husband and now individually seized of real property previously owned by both of them is not entitled to the veterans’ exemption enjoyed by them prior to the divorce. If title becomes vested in the minor children of the veteran, the exemption will be restored during the period of their minority.

We have received an inquiry concerning the situation where a woman has obtained a divorce from her husband and title to property previously owned by her and her husband was transferred to her at the time of the divorce. Prior to the divorce, she and her husband were entitled to a veterans’ exemption pursuant to section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law, but the exemption was removed subsequent to the divorce.

The assessors were correct in removing the exemption under the circumstances as set forth above, since upon dissolution of the marriage, the woman ceased to be the veteran’s wife and is therefore unqualified for this exemption.

The question is whether anything can be done to reinstate this exemption.

Section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law provides that real property purchased with eligible funds and owned by a veteran, his wife, his unremarried widow, his minor children or his dependent parents is entitled to an exemption to the extent of the eligible funds used in the purchase of the property.

If title to the property becomes vested in the minor children of the veteran, all of the requirements of the statute would be satisfied and the children would be entitled to this exemption during their minority.

May 12, 1972

Updated: