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Assessor's Manual, Volume 4, ExemptionAdministration

Exemption Administration Manual - Part 1
U.S., Foreign Governments, and Interstate Agencies

Section 4.04 - RPTL Section 416

United Nations and Similar International Organizations

Exemption Code(s): 14400 Year Originally Enacted: 1947

Related Statutes:   Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 7(a); L. 1968, Ch. 345, §1(13-a); RPTL §§418, 420-a

SUMMARY: This exemption applies to certain property owned by the United Nations or any other worldwide international organization of which the United States is a member that has been established to maintain international peace and security and to solve, through cooperation among nations, international economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian problems. Property used exclusively as the headquarters for offices and places of assembly for carrying out the purposes of such an organization is wholly exempt from taxation, special ad valorem levies, and special assessments. Certain renovated property that is owned by the United Nations but used for purposes other than U.N. or certain other functions is liable for special assessments and is subject to payments in lieu of taxes (see Reuse Project under Property Use Requirements below).
 
Special Provision:  In 2011 Ch. 345, L. 1968 §1(13-a) was amended to permit New York City to sell or lease certain parkland  to the United Nations Development Corporation (UNDC) for development of office and support space for the United Nations, as part of the 42nd Street Consolidation Project (as described in §3-a  of this chapter). The park land to be transferred to the consolidation project and the buildings to be built on such land are taxable to the same extent as private office buildings, unless owned by the United Nations. Such property becomes exempt from taxation only if the property is owned by New York City, and leased to the UNDC for up to 99 years on suitable terms to the city. Furthermore, the UNDC must enter into an agreement to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to New York City or its designee on suitable terms.   The expected PILOTs may be pledged as security for the bonds that are issued to finance the consolidation project's construction.    

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
    1. Ownership Requirements: Property must be owned by the United Nations, the United Nations Development Corporation (UNDC) or other subsidiaries, or another worldwide international organization established to maintain international peace and security and to solve, through cooperation among nations, international economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian problems. Such an organization must have the United States as one of its members.
       
    2. Property Location Requirements: None, except for a reuse project described in Property Use Requirements below.
       
    3. Property Use Requirements: Except for a certain reuse project (see below), property must be used exclusively as the headquarters for offices and places of assembly for carrying out the purposes of the organization.

      Reuse Project: Exemption from property taxes is also allowed for a reuse project owned by the U.N. and located at 633 Third Avenue, 685 Third Avenue, or 845 United Nations Plaza in Manhattan. Such a project must consist of the acquisition and alteration, renovation, or rebuilding of any previously constructed commercial building or buildings, or any portion of these, and the land and associated property interests related to such buildings. The project may not increase the height of any building and may not include construction on any vacant land. Further, the floor area of the project may not consist of more than 800,000 sq. ft. if the project is located in more than one building.

      The property improved through the reuse project must be primarily for use by the U.N. or its subsidiaries or associated agencies. If any part of the property is used for purposes other than carrying out the functions of the U.N. or the functions eligible for tax exemption under RPTL §418 (Foreign Governments - Embassies) or RPTL §420-a (Nonprofit Organizations - Mandatory Class), the U.N. must make payments in lieu of taxes to the City of New York for any part of the property so used.
       
      Consolidation Area Project: Conditional exemption from property taxation is also allowed for a "consolidation area" project, leased to the UNDC (see Summary above) and located near 42nd Street in Manhattan at the United Nations Plaza.  The project may not increase the height of any building One structure to be constructed, deemed the "Consolidation Building," must have a height limit no greater than the height of the existing United Nations Secretariat Building, and is floor area may not exceed 900,000 square feet. 

    4. Certification by State or Local Government: None required.
       
    5. Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement:  None, except for the reuse project as defined in Ch. 245, L. 1968. In that case, the property must have been acquired before December 31, 1998.
       
  2. LOCAL OPTION: No.
     
  3. LIMITATION ON EXEMPTION:
        General
    Municipal
    Taxes
    School
    District
    Taxes
    Special
    Ad Valorem
    Tax
    Special
    Assessments
    1. Amount No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    limit
    2. Duration No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    limit

    3. Taxing Jurisdiction
    a. City

    Ex NA NA Ex*
    b. School District NA Ex NA NA
      Ex-Exempt      Tax-Taxable      NA-Not Applicable

    * Except for the reuse and consolidation area projects described in Property Use Requirements above, which are liable for special assessments imposed by New York City.
     
  4. PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES: None required, except, under certain conditions, for the reuse and consolidation area projects described in Summary and Property Use Requirements above.
  5. CALCULATION OF EXEMPTION:
    1. General Municipal and School District Taxes: 100% of assessed value of portion(s) of property used exclusively for purposes described in Property Use Requirements above.
    2. Special Ad Valorem Levies and Special Assessments: 100% of assessed value or other basis of assessment, except for the reuse and consolidation area projects described in Summary and Property Use Requirements above, which are liable for special assessments imposed by New York City.
       
  6. CODING OF EXEMPTION ON ASSESSMENT ROLL:
    Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible
    14400  

    Assessment Roll Section(s): Exempt (RPS Section 8).

    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.

  7. FILING REQUIREMENTS (Owner or Occupant of Property): None.
     
  8. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Assessor): None.
     
  9. SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS:
    Subject Statute
    Foreign governments (consulates) Vienna Convention on Consular
    Relations, Art. 32
    Foreign governments (embassies) RPTL §418
    Foreign governments (missions) Vienna Convention on Diplomatic
    Relations, Art. 23
    United Nations Development District (NYC) McK U Con L §9613

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