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Department of Taxation and Finance

Assessor Manual, Exemption Administration: RPTL 459-c

Exemption Administration Manual - Part 1
Residential - Other Than Multiple Dwellings

Section 4.01 - RPTL Section 459-c: Persons with disabilities and limited incomes

Exemption code: 4193_
 
Year originally enacted: 1997

Related statutes: Pub Hel L §2801, RPTL §§455, 467

 

Summary:

If allowed by local option, property that (1) is owned by one or more persons with disabilities; by spouses or by siblings, at least one of whom has a disability and whose income, as defined under Ownership Requirements below, is limited by reason of such disability, and (2) is used exclusively for residential purposes is partially exempt from general municipal taxes. Unless allowed by local option, no exemption may be granted by a school district to property where a resident child attends a public elementary or secondary school. This exemption may not be granted to property currently receiving an exemption pursuant to RPTL §467 for the same municipal tax purpose. No exemption is allowed from special ad valorem levies or special assessments.

In addition, an owner of property that satisfies all of the exemption requirements except the income ceiling may be eligible for a reduced exemption from general municipal and school district taxes (see Calculation of Exemption below).

Eligibility requirements:

Ownership requirements:

Property must be owned by one or more persons with disabilities, or by spouses or by siblings, at least one of whom has a disability. A person with a disability is one who has a physical or mental impairment, not due to current use of alcohol or illegal drug use, which substantially limits such person's ability to engage in one or more of the major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working, and who (1) is certified to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits under the Federal Social Security Act, (2) is certified to receive Railroad Retirement Disability benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement Act, (3) has received a certificate from the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped stating that such person is legally blind, (4) is certified to receive a United States Postal Service disability pension, or (5) is certified to receive a United States Department of Veterans Affairs disability pension under Title 38, Section 1521 of the United States Code. A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, whether related through whole blood, half blood, or adoption. If the property is held in trust, the exemption may be allowed if the beneficiary of the trust qualifies. However, regardless of ownership, this exemption may not be granted to property currently receiving an exemption pursuant to RPTL §467 for the same municipal taxing purpose.

Note: When the property is owned by one or more persons, some of whom qualify for this exemption and the others of whom qualify for the senior citizens' exemption provided by RPTL §467, the owners have the option of choosing the more beneficial exemption. The owners may not be prohibited from taking one of these two exemptions solely because the owners qualify for more than one exemption.

To qualify for the base exemption (50% of assessed value), the combined incomes of the owners for the income tax year (January - December unless a different twelve-month period is used for personal income tax filing purposes) immediately preceding the application for exemption must not be greater than the maximum income eligibility level specified by local law. Such maximum income levels may range from $3,000 to $29,000. In New York City, the adopted maximum income may be set as high as $50,000.  If title to the property is solely in a spouse's name, the incomes of both spouses must be combined to satisfy the income requirement, even if both do not reside on the property. An exception is made in the case of certain separated spouses: where a spouse or ex-spouse is absent from the property as a result of divorce, legal separation, or abandonment. In such cases, only the income of the spouse or ex-spouse residing on the property is to be considered in determining eligibility for exemption.

Municipalities that have elected to allow the base exemption may amend such local laws or resolution to increase the maximum income eligibility level in accordance with the sliding-scale provisions described under Calculation of Exemption below. Income includes social security and retirement benefits, interest, dividends, net capital gains (capital gains can only be offset by capital losses incurred in the same year) from the sale or exchange of a capital asset in the same income tax year, net rental income, salary or earnings, and net income from self-employment, but excludes Supplemental Security Income, welfare payments, monies earned through employment in the federal Foster Grandparents Program, returns on capital, gifts, or inheritances. Income accruing to the disabled person confined in a residential health care facility is considered to be income only to the extent that it exceeds the amount paid by the confined owner, his spouse or sibling of such person for care in the facility.

Municipalities that have elected to allow the exemption may amend such local law or resolution to exclude all medical and prescription drug expenses which are not reimbursed or paid for by insurance from the computation of an applicant's income.

Property location requirements:

None.
 

Property use requirements:

Property must be used exclusively for residential purposes. If only a portion of the property is used exclusively for residential purposes, only that portion is entitled to exemption; the remainder of the property is taxable. In addition, the property must be the legal residence of and occupied in whole or in part by the disabled person. A disabled person who is absent from the property while receiving health-related care as an inpatient of a residential health care facility (defined by Public Health Law §2801 as a nursing home or other facility providing health-related services) is considered to be a legal resident and occupant of the property.

Unless allowed by local option, no exemption from school district taxes may be allowed if a child who attends public elementary or secondary school (Grades K-12) resides on the property (see Local option).

Certification by state or local government:

Applicant must provide proof of disability with an award letter from the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, the United States Postal Service, or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, or a certificate from the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped.
 

Required construction start date or other time requirement:

None.
 

Local option:

Yes:

  •  Exemption and maximum income: Each county, city, town, village and school district may choose (1) whether or not to allow the base (50%) exemption and (2) the amount of the maximum income exemption eligibility level (see Ownership Requirements above). The option to exempt must be exercised through adoption of a local law or school district resolution (after a public hearing). In addition, each county, city, town, village, and school district which has chosen to allow the base exemption may choose to permit an increase in the maximum income exemption eligibility level and a corresponding decrease in the percentage of exemption.
  • Sliding scale exemption: Local legislation authorizing the base exemption may be amended or new legislation adopted to allow, for each $1,000 increase in income, a reduced exemption ranging from 45% to 35% of assessed value, and for each further $900 increase in income, a reduced exemption ranging from 30% to 5% of assessed value.
  • Medical expenses: Municipalities that have elected to allow the exemption may additionally amend such local law or resolution to exclude all medical and prescription expenses which are not reimbursed or paid by insurance from the computation of an applicant's income.
  • Child in public school: School districts that have elected to allow the exemption may also adopt a separate resolution to allow the exemption on property where a resident child attends a public elementary or secondary school (Grades K-12). However, the school district resolution authorizing the exemption must provide that satisfactory proof is required that the child was not brought into the residence primarily for the purpose of attending a particular school within the district.
  • Cooperative apartment: A local government may enact a law to allow that portion of a cooperative apartment corporation held by an otherwise eligible 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 the outstanding stock held by the eligible 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 property currently receiving an exemption pursuant to RPTL §467 for the same municipal taxing purpose.

 

Limitation on exemption:

 

Limitation on exemption by amount, duration, and taxing jurisdiction
Taxing Jurisdiction*AmountDurationSpecial ad valorem leviesSpecial assessments
County or county special district Up to 50% of assessed value No limit Taxable Taxable
City Up to 50% of assessed value No limit Not applicable Taxable
Town or town special district Up to 50% of assessed value No limit Taxable Taxable
Village Up to 50% of assessed value No limit Taxable Taxable
school district Up to 50% of assessed value

No limit

Not applicable Taxable

* If allowed by local option.

 

Payments in lieu of taxes: 

None required.
 

Calculation of exemption:

General municipal and school district taxes:

Percent of Exemption Based on Income Eligibility (I.E.)

Base exemption - 50% of assessed value.

Sliding-scale income/exemption option - % of assessed value is determined according to the following schedule.

M= the maximum income eligibility level for the base (50%)exemption

  • more than M but less than M + 1000 = 45% of exemption
  • M + 1,000 or more, but less than M +2,000 = 40% exemption
  • M + 2,000 or more, but less than M + 3,000 = 35% exemption
  • M + 3,000 or more, but less than M +3,900 = 30% exemption
  • M + 3,900 or more, but less than M +4,800 = 25% exemption
  • M + 4,800 or more, but less than M + 5,700 = 20% exemption
  • M + 5,700 or more, but less than M + 6,600 = 15% exemption
  • M + 6,600 or more, but less than M + 7,500 = 10% exemption
  • M + 7,500 or more, but less than M + 8,400 = 20% exemption

where M equals the maximum income eligibility level for the base (50%) exemption

Any such exemptions allowed by local law must be computed after all other partial exemptions except School Tax Relief (STAR) exemptions have been subtracted from the assessed value of the property.

Exemption for Eligible Tenant/Shareholders of Cooperative Apartment Corporations

Exemption = Assessed Value x (n/N) x (I.E.)

  • n = number of shares owned by eligible senior citizens
  • N = total number of corporation shares
  • I.E. = percent of exemption due to income eligibility determined in Percentage of exemption based on income eligibility

 

Special Ad Valorem Levies and Special Assessments:

No exemption allowed.
 

Assessment Roll Section:

Taxable (RPS Section 1).

 

Filing requirements (owner or occupant of property):

Initial application

File Form RP-459-c, Application for Partial Exemption for Real Property of Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes

Renewal:

File Form RP-459-c-Rnw, Renewal Application for Partial Exemption for Real Property of Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes

Note: Proof of permanent disability need be submitted only in the year of the initial application or, if necessary, in the year following the determination of a permanent disability.

 

Reporting requirements (Assessor):

At least 60 days prior to the appropriate taxable status date, the assessor must mail to each person who was granted this exemption on the latest assessment roll an application form and a notice that such application must be filed on or before taxable status date and be approved in order for the exemption to be continued to be granted.

Note: Failure to mail such an application or the failure of such person to receive the same does not prevent the levy, collection and enforcement of the payment of taxes on the property owned by such person.

 

Similar exemptions:

  • RPTL §467-d, Certain living quarters constructed to be occupied by a senior citizen or disabled individual
  • RPTL §459-b, Disabled crime victims
  • RPTL §459-a, Improvements to property pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • RPTL §459, Physically disabled
  • RPTL §467-f, Protective and safety devices installed in multiple dwellings in New York City

 

Exemption application forms:

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