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Department of Taxation and Finance

Assessor Manual, Exemption Administration: RPTL Section 458-b

Exemption Administration Manual, Part 1
Residential: Other Than Multiple Dwellings

Section 4.01, RPTL Section 458-b: Veterans (Cold War)

Exemptions by code
Exemption codeDescription of code
4115_ 425(3)— Cold War veteran, 10% benefit
4116_  425(2j)— Cold War veteran, 15% benefit
4117_ 425(2l)— Cold War veteran, with disability

 

Note: If a veteran has been granted a disability exemption, two codes are necessary (either 4115_ or 4116_ and 4117_).

Year originally enacted: 2007

Related statutes: RPTL §§ 458, 458-a

Summary:

To the extent allowed by local option, the primary residence of a veteran of the United States armed forces who served during the Cold War is partially exempt from general municipal taxes. No exemption is allowed for special ad valorem levies or special assessments. This exemption may not be granted for the same municipal taxing purpose to property currently receiving an exemption pursuant to RPTL §458 or RPTL §458-a. An eligible veteran who receives the eligible funds exemption (RPTL §458) may also receive this exemption solely for the purpose of school taxation.

The percentage exemption that applies to the assessed value of a qualifying property depends on both the nature of the veteran's service and the local law adopted by the taxing jurisdiction. Veterans who were on active duty during the Cold War period are eligible for a basic exemption of one of two benefit levels, as allowed by local option: (1) 10% exemption, not to exceed a basic state maximum of $8,000 or the product of $8,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, special equalization rate or, in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is less or (2) 15% exemption, not to exceed a basic state maximum of $12,000 or the product of $12,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, special equalization rate or, in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is less. Cold War veterans who sustained service-connected disabilities, as evidenced by receipt of a disability compensation rating from the Veteran's Administration or the Department of Defense, are eligible for an additional exemption, equal to one-half of their disability rating, not to exceed a basic state maximum of $40,000 or the product of $40,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate or, in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is less.

A taxing jurisdiction which allows the Cold War veterans exemption has the further option of using one of the following ten (or sixteen, in the case of a high appreciation municipality) reduced or increased exemption amounts (or the product of such a reduced or increased amount multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, special equalization rate or, in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is less), instead of the maximum amounts allowed by state law for whichever of the two benefit levels adopted in local law.

Maximum exemption amounts available

Reduced maximum pursuant to local law

10% option

15% option

Disability

$4,000

$6,000

$20,000

$6,000

$9,000

$30,000

State law basic maximum

$8,000

$12,000

$40,000

Increased maximums pursuant to local law

$10,000

$15,000

$50,000

$12,000

$18,000

$60,000

$14,000

$21,000

$70,000

$16,000

$24,000

$80,000

$18,000

$27,000

$90,000

$20,000

$30,000

$100,000

$22,000

$33,000

$110,000

$24,000

$36,000

$120,000

$26,000

$39,000

$130,000

$28,000

$42,000

$140,000

$30,000

$45,000

$150,000

In high appreciation municipalities the governing board may adopt still higher limits of:

Maximum exemption amounts available in high appreciation municipalities

10% option

15% option

Disability

$32,000

$48,000

$160,000

$34,000

$51,000

$170,000

$36,000

$54,000

$180,000

$38,000

$57,000

$190,000

$40,000

$60,000

$200,000

$42,000

$63,000

$210,000

$44,000

$66,000

$220,000

$46,000

$69,000

$230,000

$48,000

$72,000

$240,000

$50,000

$75,000

$250,000

A high-appreciation municipality means: (1) New York City, (2) a county for which the  Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) has established a sales price differential factor for purposes of the school tax relief [STAR] exemption (Real Property Tax Law, sec. 425) for three consecutive years, or (3) a city, town, or village located within such a county; (see  STAR differentials for a list of such counties.)

Thus the maximum exemption allowed is either 60 or 65% (depending on which benefit level the municipality has adopted), where a veteran served during the Cold War and has a 100% service-connected disability.

The duration of the basic exemption is 10 years, unless the local option to remove the 10 year limit has been adopted, and commences with the first taxable status date occurring on or after the effective date of the local law allowing the exemption. For those owners who acquire eligible property after this date, the 10-year period will be measured from the assessment roll based on the first taxable status date occurring at least 60 days after acquisition of the residential property, provided that should the veteran apply for and be granted an exemption on the assessment roll based on a taxable status date within 60 days after the date of acquisition of the property, the 10-year period is measured from the first assessment roll in which the exemption occurs. If, before the expiration of the 10-year period the exempt property is sold or replaced with other residential real property, this exemption may be granted for the unexpired portion of the 10-year period. The duration of the disability exemption is permanent.

Eligibility requirements

Ownership requirements:

The property must be owned by a Cold War veteran, the spouse of a Cold War veteran, or the unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased Cold War veteran. Where property is owned by more than one qualified owner, the exemption to which each is entitled may be combined. Where a veteran is also the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran, that person may also receive any exemption to which the deceased spouse was entitled. If the title has been transferred to a trust, the property is eligible for the exemption if the trustee or trust beneficiary otherwise qualifies.

A Cold War veteran is defined as a person, male or female, who served on active duty in the United States armed forces between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991, and who was discharged or released under honorable conditions.

Property location requirements: 

None.

Property use requirements:

The property must be used exclusively for residential purposes. It must also be the primary residence of a Cold War veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse of a Cold War veteran unless that person is absent from the property due to medical reasons or institutionalization. If a portion of the property is not used exclusively for residential purposes, that portion is not entitled to the exemption. In such cases, the assessor may apportion the assessed value and apply the exemption only to the residential portion of the property.

Certification by state or local government:

None.

Required construction start date or other time requirement: 

None.

Local option

Yes; each county, city, town, village, and school district opting to authorize the exemption is allowed certain choices:

  • Exemption -- Each eligible taxing jurisdiction may choose one of the two benefit levels: 10 or 15% of assessed value, each subject to maximum exempt values authorized by state law (see Summary). The option to exempt must be exercised through adoption of a local law, or in the case of a school district, a resolution.  There is no requirement that the local law or resolution be adopted 90 days before Taxable Status Date. 
  • Limit of Exemption -- A taxing jurisdiction adopting the exemption has the additional option of passing a local law, or in the case of a school district, a resolution, establishing one of the two lower sets of maximum exempt values for the benefit level adopted in the original local law allowing the exemption or one of eight (or fourteen in the case of a high appreciation municipality) higher sets (see Summary above).
  • Cooperative Apartments - Each taxing jurisdiction may, following a public hearing, adopt a local law, or in the case of a school district, a resolution, to allow that portion of a cooperative apartment corporation held by an otherwise veteran tenant/stockholder to be eligible for an exemption from real property taxes. If allowed, the amount of the exemption must be determined by the assessor, based upon the proportion of outstanding stock held by an eligible shareholder, and credited against shareholder, and credited against the taxes charged to the corporation. Eligible stockholders would receive an adjustment to their monthly maintenance fees by the cooperative apartment corporation to reflect the benefit of the exemption. However, this exemption may not be granted to apartments subject to the provisions of either Article 2, 4, 5 or 11 of the Private Housing Finance Law.
  • Duration-  Each taxing jurisdiction may adopt a local law, or in the case of a school district, a resolution, to remove the 10-year limit on exemption.  If a taxing jurisdiction that offers the exemption does not take such action, the Cold War Veterans exemption that it offers will continue to expire after 10 years.
  • Rescission of Exemption -- A local law adopted pursuant to this exemption may be repealed by the governing body of taxing jurisdiction at least 90 days prior to the jurisdiction's taxable status date.
     

Limitation on exemption

Limitation on exemption by amount, duration, and taxing jurisdiction
Type of limitationGeneral municipal taxesSchool district taxesSpecial ad valorem leviesSpecial assessments
Amount Yes* Yes* No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
Duration 10 years** (see local option) 10 years** (see local option) No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
Taxing jurisdiction: county or county special district Exempt*** Not applicable Taxable Taxable
Taxing jurisdiction: city Exempt*** Not applicable Taxable Taxable
Taxing jurisdiction: town or town special district Exempt***

Not applicable

Taxable Taxable
Taxing jurisdiction: village Exempt*** Not applicable Not applicable Taxable
Taxing jurisdiction: school district Exempt*** Exempt*** Not applicable Not applicable

* See Calculation of Exemption below.
** Applies to the basic exemption only; the disability exemption is permanent.
***If allowed by local option

Payments in lieu of taxes

None.

Calculation of exemption

General municipal and school district taxes:

This exemption applies to general municipal taxes and school taxes in amounts depending on the nature of the Cold War veteran's service:

  • Cold War veteran without disability rating
    • The amount of the exemption further depends on which of two benefit levels has been adopted by local law, as follows:
      • Benefit Level 1: The lesser of either 10% of assessed value or the maximum exemption level adopted by the taxing jurisdiction, multiplied by the latest state equalization rate (or special equalization rate), or in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio (see maximum exemption amounts in Summary).
      • Benefit Level 2: The lesser of either 15 percent of assessed value or the maximum exemption level adopted by the taxing jurisdiction, multiplied by the latest state equalization rate (or special equalization rate), or in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio (see maximum exemption amounts in Summary).
           
  • Cold War veteran with disability rating
    • The exempt amount is the amount as determined in (A) above plus the lesser of either half of the disability rating multiplied by the assessed value or  the maximum exemption level adopted by the taxing jurisdiction, multiplied by the latest state equalization rate (or special equalization rate), or in the case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio (see maximum exemption amounts in Summary).
Special ad valorem levies and special assessments:

No exemption allowed.

Assessment roll section(s)

Taxable (RPS Section 1)

Filing requirements (owner or occupant of property)

All veterans:

File Form RP-458-b, Application for Cold War Veterans Exemption from Real Property Taxation.

Disabled veterans:

File Form RP-458-b-Dis, Renewal Application for Cold War Veterans Exemption from Real Property Taxation Based on Change in Service-Connected Disability Compensation Rating.

Notes:

  • If more than one veteran owner of a single property applies for exemption under RPTL §458-b, each owner must file a separate application form.
  • An applicant must re-file on or before taxable status date if the disability percentage increases or decreases, or may refile if other changes have occurred which affect qualification for an increased or decreased amount of exemption.

Reporting requirements (assessor)

None.

Note: For further information, see Veterans' Exemptions Questions and Answers

Exemption application forms

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