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Volume 4 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 51

Opinions of Counsel index

Veterans exemption (application) (verification) - Real Property Tax Law, § 458:

The application for the veterans’ exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 458) must be sworn and subscribed to before an officer authorized to administer oaths. The assessor may not administer the oath to veterans applying for the exemption unless the assessor is also a notary public or some other officer authorized to administer oaths.

Our opinion has been requested concerning the veterans’ exemption (Real Property Tax Law, § 458) as to the need for verification of the application for a veterans’ exemption.

Paragraph (1) of subdivision 1 of section 458 provides in part that:

On or before the appropriate taxable status date, a verified application for the exemption of such real property from taxation may be filed in the appropriate assessor’s office by or on behalf of the owner thereof, which application must show the facts on which the exemption is claimed, including the amount of eligible funds used in or toward the purchase of such property. (emphasis supplied)

There can be no dispute that what is meant by the phrase “a verified application” is that the application be subscribed and sworn to before a notary public or some other officer authorized to administer oaths. The assessor, by reason of such office, is not so empowered. Accordingly, unless the assessor happens to also be a notary public, it is our opinion that he may not administer oaths to veterans applying for the exemption.

The elimination of the verification requirement would naturally require legislative action.

January 20, 1975

Updated: