Skip to main content

Assessor Manuals, Exemption Administration: RPTL Section 485-l

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

Section 4.01 - RPTL Section 485-l: Residential Property Improvements in Certain Towns

Exemption code(s):


Year originally enacted:


Related statutes:



If allowed by local option, one- or two-family residential property located in certain towns in which the assessed value has previously been reduced by the assessor because of a decrease in value attributable to physical damage resulting from soil subsidence, and where rehabilitation to repair such physical damage exceeds $10,000 is partially exempt from town taxation and special ad valorem levies. The amount of the exemption is limited to the property's increase in assessed value that was added by such improvement. The duration of the exemption is five years.

Eligibility requirements

Ownership requirements:

The property must be owned by a private individual or organization. If title to the property is transferred, the exemption must cease.

Property location requirements:

Property must be located in towns with a population of not less than 100,000 and not more than 125,000 in counties having a population of not less than 950,000 and not more than 975,000. Based on the latest federal census, i.e., 2000, only the Town of Amherst, Erie County, currently satisfies these criteria.

Property use requirements:

Property must be used as a one- or two-family residential dwelling of which the assessed value has previously been reduced by the assessor because of a decrease in value attributed to physical damage to the dwelling resulting from soil subsidence. For purposes of this exemption, an eligible improvement may only be construction necessary to repair the property damaged by soil subsidence. The value of the construction project must exceed $10,000. The construction project may not include ordinary maintenance and repairs.

Certification by state or local government:

Completion of the construction project must be demonstrated by a building permit where required, or other appropriate documents required by the assessor. 

Required construction start date or other time requirement:

Construction of the improvement must commence on or after January 1, 2007.

Local option

Yes. Eligible municipal taxing jurisdictions may choose whether or not to allow the exemption. The option to exempt must be exercised by the municipality through adoption of a local law. 

Limitation on exemption

Limitation on exemption by amount, duration, and taxing jurisdiction
General municipal taxes School district taxes Special ad valorem levies Special assessments
1. Amount Yes* No exemption allowed No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
2. Duration 5 years No exemption allowed No exemption allowed No exemption allowed
3. Taxing Jurisdiction
a. County or County Special Districts Tax NA Tax Tax
b. City NA NA NA NA
c. Town or Town Special District Ex** NA Ex** Tax
d. Village NA NA NA NA
e. School District NA Tax NA NA
Ex - Exempt          Tax - Taxable          NA - Not Applicable

*See Calculation of Exemption below.
**If allowed by local option.

Payments in lieu of taxes:


Calculation of exemption

General municipal and school district taxes:

This exemption is for town taxes and special ad valorem levies only. The extent of the exemption is determined by the exemption base and the percent of that base allowed as exempt each year. The exemption base is defined as the increase in assessed value based solely on improvements made to correct physical damage to the property caused by soil subsidence, which the assessor in a previous year determined to reduce the dwelling's value.

The exemption equals the exemption base or the exemption base multiplied by one of the following percentages:

Percentage of exemption base
Year of exemption Percentage of exemption base
1 100
2 80
3 60
4 40
5 20

Special ad valorem levies and special assessments:

No exemption allowed other than a partial exemption from town ad valorem levies.

Coding of exemption on assessment roll

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

Assessment roll section(s):

RPS Taxable (RPS 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)

Form RP-485-l (Amherst) (9/08) - Application for Residential Investment Real Property Tax Exemption; Certain Towns

Reporting requirements (assessor)


Similar exemptions

 Similar exemptions
Subject Statute
Home improvements RPTL 421-f
New residential property in certain cities RPTL 421-m
Residential investment in certain municipalities RPTL 485-h, 485-i, 485-j, 485-k, 485-l
Residential investment in certain cities RPTL 485-j

Exemption application forms

Application form RP-485-l [Amherst]

| Top of Page | | Table of Contents| | Next Page| | Assessors' Manuals |

Please send general questions or comments to ORPTS.