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Assessor Manuals, Exemption Administration

Exemption Administration Manual—Part 1: Municipal Governments

Section 4.03 - ECL Section 15-1909(4): Drainage Improvement Districts

Exemption code(s):


Year originally enacted:


Related statutes:



This statute allows for the establishment of Drainage Improvement Districts in order to provide for the drainage of agricultural land so that it may be made more productive and to benefit the public health, safety, and welfare. Real property owned by a Drainage Improvement District is wholly exempt from taxation but is liable for special ad valorem levies and special assessments.

Eligibility requirements

Ownership requirements:

Land and improvements must be owned by a Drainage Improvement District established in accordance with Title 19 of Article 15 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which requires the approval of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation subsequent to public hearings.

Property location requirements:


Property use requirements:

Property must be used in conjunction with the drainage of agricultural land for purposes of enhancing its productive capacity or conserving the public health, safety, or welfare. Examples of drainage-related improvements include drains, ditches, channels, dams, and dikes.

Certification by state or local government:

The Drainage Improvement District must have been established with the approval of the Department of Environmental Conservation as provided in Title 19 of Article 15 of the Environmental Conservation Law.

Required construction start date or other time requirement:


Local option


Limitation on exemption

Limitations on exemption by amount, duration, and taxing jurisdiction
General municipal taxes School district taxes Special ad valorem tax Special assessments
1. Amount No limit No limit 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

Payments in lieu of taxes

None required.

Calculation of exemption

General municipal and school district taxes:

100% of assessed value.

Special Ad Valorem Levies and special assessments:

No exemption allowed. 

Coding of exemption on assessment roll

 Coding of exemption on assessment roll
Code Description of alternative codes possible

Assessment roll section(s)

Exempt (ARLM § 8).

Note: This exemption 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)


Reporting requirements (assessor)


Similar exemptions

 Similar exemption
Subject Statute
River improvement districts ECL §15-2309
Special districts (property within district boundaries) RPTL §410

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