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Volume 6 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 69

Opinions of Counsel index

Veterans exemption (seriously disabled veteran) (transfer of exemption) - Real Property Tax Law, § 458(3):

Where property owned by a seriously disabled veteran and his wife upon which they were receiving exemption pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law is sold by the veteran’s widow after his death and a new property not equipped with special facilities for his disability is purchased with the proceeds of sale, the exemption pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 458 of the Real Property Tax Law is no longer available to the widow.

A taxpayer and her husband owned property upon which they were receiving a $10,000 “seriously disabled veterans exemption” (Real Property Tax Law, §458(3)). The husband died and his widow is now seeking an exemption on a new parcel she has purchased utilizing the proceeds of sale from her former home.

Subdivision 3 of section 458 provides an exemption to seriously disabled veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War who have suffered serious service connected disabilities. The exemption is granted to such individuals who have “received pecuniary assistance from the United States government toward the acquisition of a suitable housing unit with special fixtures or movable facilities made necessary by the nature of the veteran’s disability and the necessary land therefor.” The maximum amount of exemption pursuant to this subdivision may not exceed $17,500. [In this case, the veteran apparently qualified only for a $10,000 exemption (see, 4 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 63).] This exemption is in addition to the veterans exemption provided by subdivision 1 of section 458 which is based on the use of eligible funds in the purchase of real property.

Subdivision 3 of section 458 also provides that “[t]he same exemption may also be allowed on such housing units, owned by an unremarried surviving spouse of such veteran, or by such veteran and spouse while occupying such premises as a residence.” The new house for which the taxpayer is now seeking exemption is not equipped with special facilities, and the government did not forward money to the veteran for the purchase of this property. Accordingly, the exemption pursuant to subdivision 3 is no longer available to the widow.

However, if eligible funds, as defined in subdivision 1 of section 458, were also used in the purchase of her former home, the veteran’s widow may be deemed to have recovered them in the sale of her former residence; and if the proceeds of sale of such former home were used in the purchase of the new property, she may be eligible to receive an exemption pursuant to subdivision 1 of section 458 (1 Op.Counsel SBEA No. 25).

May 19, 1977

NOTE:  Superseded by L.1995, c.364.

Updated: