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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 2

Opinions of Counsel index

Clergymen’s exemption (residency requirement) - Real Property Tax Law, § 460:

Section 460 of the Real Property Tax Law contains no requirement that the clergyman claiming an exemption thereunder must reside or perform his functions as a clergyman in the political subdivision in which he seeks such exemption.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the exemption from real property tax granted to clergymen pursuant to section 460 of the Real Property Tax Law. The facts are that an ordained clergyman owns property in a town in Greene County but resides in a city in Erie County. The question is whether or not he is eligible for the aforementioned exemption on the property he owns in Greene County.

Section 460 provides that real property owned by a clergyman, who is an actual resident and inhabitant of the State, engaged in church work assigned to him by the church or denomination of which he is a member, or who is unable to work on account of health or is over seventy years of age, is exempt from taxation to the extent of $1,500. There is no requirement that the clergyman reside or perform the functions of a clergyman in the political subdivision in which he claims an exemption (1903, Op.Atty.Gen. 304; 11 Op.State Compt. 196). Assuming therefore, that the clergyman in the instant case satisfies the other requirements of section 460, the fact that he resides in Erie County is no bar to his receiving the exemption on property he owns in Greene County.

October 18, 1974

Updated: