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Assessor Manuals, Volume 4, Exemption Administration

Exemption Administration Manual—Part 1: Residential—Other than multiple dwellings

Section 4.01 - RPTL Section 459: Physically disabled

Exemption code(s):


Year originally enacted:


Related statutes:



If allowed by local option, residential real property including improvements that serve to facilitate the use and accessibility of such property by physically disabled residents is exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to such improvements, but is liable for special ad valorem levies and special assessments.

Eligibility requirements

Ownership requirements:

Property must be owned either by a physically disabled person or by a person having a physically disabled member in the household.

Property location requirements:


Property use requirements:

Property must be occupied by the physically disabled resident of the property. The disabled person must have a permanent physical impairment that substantially restricts one or more of his major life activities, and such impairment must be certified by a qualified physician or the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, as appropriate. To be eligible for exemption, the improvement to the property must be one which facilitates the disabled person's use of and accessibility to the property. Property must be a one-, two-, or three-family residence.

Certification by State or Local Government:

Disability must be certified by a physician licensed to practice in New York State. In the case of a blind person, certification by the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped may be obtained in lieu of certification by a physician.

Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement:

None. Furthermore, exemption may be granted to improvements constructed prior to the effective date of the local law or resolution allowing the exemption.

Local options

Yes - Each county, city, town, village, and school district may choose whether or not to allow the exemption. The option must be exercised by a county, city, town, or village through adoption of a local law and by a school district through adoption of a resolution. In all cases, a public hearing must be held prior to adoption of the local law or resolution.

Limitation on exemption

Limitation on exemption by amount, duration, and taxing jurisdiction
     General municipal taxes School district taxes Special ad valorem tax Special assessments
1. Amount Yes* Yes* No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
2. Duration No limit No limit No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
3. Taxing Jurisdiction
a. County or County Special Districts Ex** NA Tax Tax
b. City Ex** NA NA Tax
c. Town or Town Special District Ex** NA Tax Tax
d. Village Ex** NA NA Tax
e. School District NA Ex** NA NA
Ex-Exempt      Tax-Taxable      NA-Not Applicable

*Amount is limited to the increase in assessed value attributable to the eligible improvement.
**If allowed by local option.

Payments in lieu of taxes

None required.

Calculation of exemption

General municipal and school district taxes:

Increase in assessed value attributable to the eligible improvement.

Special ad valorem levies and special assessments:

No exemption allowed. 

Coding of exemption on assessment roll:

 Coding of exemption on assessment rolls
Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible

Assessment roll section(s):

Taxable (ARLM Section 1).

Note: This code should not be used to identify property that is exempt under any of the statutes listed under Similar Exemptions below. For coding of such property, see the Exemption Profile for the statute that applies.

Filing requirements (owner or occupant of property)

Application form:

Form RP-459, Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Persons Who Are Physically Disabled. (Application form must be accompanied by a certified statement of disability.)

Reporting requirements (assessor)


Similar exemptions

Similar exemptions
Subject Statute
Certain living quarters constructed to be occupied by a senior citizen or disabled individual RPTL §467-d
Disabled crime victims RPTL §459-b
Improvements to property pursuant to the American Disabilities Act of 1990 RPTL §459-a
Persons with disabilities and limited incomes RPTL §459-c

Exemption application forms

Form RP-459 | RP-459-Ins |

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