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Volume 5 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 39

Opinions of Counsel index

Nonprofit organizations exemption (generally) (special ad valorem levies) - Real Property Tax Law, §§ 421, 490:

Real property located outside cities and villages, which is mandatorily exempt from taxation pursuant to section 421 of the Real Property Tax Law, is also exempt from special ad valorem levies for fire protection district purposes.

Our opinion has been requested as to whether special ad valorem levies for fire protection district purposes may be imposed upon real property owned by a nonprofit corporation or association organized exclusively for religious or moral or mental improvement of men, women or children which is mandatorily exempt from taxation pursuant to the provisions of section 421 (i.e., 420) of the Real Property Tax Law.

Subdivision 8 of section 421 reads, in part, that “[r]eal property exempt pursuant to this section from taxation by all municipal corporations within which it is located shall also be exempt from special ad valorem levies and special assessments to the extent provided in section four hundred ninety of this chapter.”

Section 490 provides that real property located outside cities and villages and exempt from taxation pursuant to certain Real Property Tax Law sections enumerated therein, including section 420, is also exempt from special ad valorem levies and special assessments except those levied to pay for the capital costs of construction of certain improvements or services set forth therein which include water supply and distribution systems, sewer systems, waterways and drainage improvements, street, highway, road and parkway improvements. Section 490 does not except special ad valorem levies for fire protection district purposes. Therefore, real property located outside cities and villages, which is mandatorily exempt from taxation pursuant to section 421 of the Real Property Tax Law, is also exempt from special ad valorem levies for fire protection district purposes.

October 6, 1975

Updated: