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Assessor's Manual, Volume 4, ExemptionAdministration

Exemption Administration Manual - Part 2
Industrial, Commercial, and Public Service

Section 4.06 - RPTL Sections 489-d & 489-dd (Article 4, Titles 2-A and 2-B)

Railroad Companies
(Intrastate and Interstate)

Exemption Code(s):  Wholly exempt property 27200

Partially exempt property 47200

Related Statutes:     None.

SUMMARY:     Transportation property of railroads receiving ceiling values determined by the NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services is exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies to the extent that its assessed value exceeds the ceiling value. Such property is liable for special assessments. This property is still subject to local assessment. In determining this assessed value, the property may be eligible for one of three additional exemptions for intrastate railroads (RPTL Article 4, Title2-A) and interstate railroads (RPTL Article 4, Title2-B):

  1. Subsidized Railroads - Operating property owned or operated by a railroad subsidized by the federal or state government is wholly exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies, but is liable for special assessments.
     
  2. New or Reconstructed Bridges, Viaducts, and Similar Structures - New structures that are built on or after January 1, 1959 to carry railroad facilities over new highways or streets are exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies, but are liable for special assessments. Bridges, viaducts, and similar structures that are lengthened or reconstructed after January 1, 1959 as a result of the widening, relocation, or reconstruction of existing highways or streets are not exempt from taxation or special ad valorem levies, but their assessment may not be increased as a result of the improvements made.
     
  3. Grade Crossings and Similar Improvements - The following improvements, if made after the taxable status date immediately preceding April 21, 1959, are exempt from taxation and special ad valorem levies, but not special assessments, to the extent of any increase in assessed value resulting from the improvements: (a) installation of automatic grade crossing protective devices, (b) reconstruction or replacement of signals, railroad bridges, stations, freight houses, classification yards, repair shops, or any other facility used for transportation purposes, provided that the property as reconstructed or replaced is the same general type of facility and is located in the same city or town as the original property, and (c) construction or reconstruction of any grade separation structure, such as a bridge, viaduct, tunnel, retaining wall, or embankment constructed for the purpose of eliminating or avoiding highway-railroad crossings at grade.

Except in the case of subsidized railroads, none of these exemptions may be granted if the railroad company failed to pay within 30 days of the date due the taxes payable for the previous year on any railroad property of the company. This provision does not apply if the payment of such taxes has been restrained or prohibited by a court order under the U.S. Bankruptcy Act.

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
    1. Ownership Requirements: Property must be owned by a private intrastate or interstate railroad.
       
    2. Property Location Requirements:

      Grade Crossing and Similar Improvements - If the project is the reconstruction or replacement of signals, railroad bridges, stations, freight houses, classification yards, repair shops, or any other facility used for transportation purposes, it must be located in the same city or town as the original property.

      Other Property - None.

    3. Property Use Requirements: Property must be used for transportation purposes. For a description of the types of property eligible for exemption, see the Summary above.
       
    4. Certification by State or Local Government:

      Ceiling Railroads - Ceiling values must be determined annually by the NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services.

      Other Property - None required.

    5. Required Construction Start Date or Other Time Requirement: 

      New or Reconstructed Bridges, Viaducts, and Similar Structures -Construction or reconstruction must have begun on or after January 1, 1959.

      Grade Crossings and Similar Improvements - Improvements must have begun after the taxable status date immediately preceding April 21, 1959.

  2. LOCAL OPTION: No.
     
  3. LIMITATION ON EXEMPTION:
      General
    Municipal
    Taxes
    School
    District
    Taxes
    Special
    Ad Valorem
    Levies
    Special
    Assessments
    1. Amount Yes* Yes* Yes* No
    exemption
    allowed
    2. Duration No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    limit
    No
    exemption
    allowed
    3. Taxing Jurisdiction
    a. County or County
    Special Districts
    Ex NA Ex Tax
    b. City Ex NA NA Tax
    c. Town or Town
    Special District
    Ex NA Ex Tax
    d. Village Ex NA NA Tax
    e. School District NA Ex NA NA
    Ex-Exempt      Tax-Taxable      NA-Not Applicable

    *The amount of exemption is limited only for the following types of property: (1) grade crossing and similar improvements are limited to the increase in assessed value resulting from the improvements; (2) ceiling railroads are limited to the extent that the locally established assessed value exceeds the ceiling value determined by the Office of Real Property Tax Services.

  4. PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES: None required.
     
  5. CALCULATION OF EXEMPTION:
    1. General Municipal and School District Taxes:

      Subsidized Railroads: 100% of assessed value.

      New Bridges, Viaducts, and Similar Structures: 100% of assessed value.

      Reconstructed Bridges, Viaducts, and Similar Structures: No exemption is allowed, but the assessed value of the property may not be increased as a result of the improvements made.

      Grade Crossings and Similar Improvements: Increase in assessed value resulting from improvements.

      Ceiling Railroads: Locally determined assessed value in excess of ceiling value. Ceiling values are established annually by the Office of Real Property Tax Services.

    2. Special Ad Valorem Levies and Special Assessments:

      Special Ad Valorem Levies: See General Municipal and School District Taxes above.

      Special Assessments: No exemption allowed.

  6. CODING OF EXEMPTION ON ASSESSMENT ROLL:
    Code Description of Alternative Codes Possible
    27200 Wholly exempt property
    47200 Partially exempt property

    Assessment Roll Section(s): Wholly Exempt Property: Exempt (RPS Section 8). Ceiling Railroads: RPS Section 7. Railroads Not Receiving Ceiling Values: RPS Section 6.

    NOTE: These codes 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):
    1. Subsidized Railroads: Form RP-489-d and 489-dd  - Application for Real Property Tax Exemption for Subsidized Railroad Real Property
    2. Other Property: None.
       
  8. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (Assessor): None.
     
  9. SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS:
    Subject Statute
    Amtrak Railroad 45 USC §546-b
    Municipal Railroads (all capital stock
    owned by municipal corporation)
    RPTL §456
    Railroad passenger stations in New York City RPTL §476-a
    Railroads and related property (New York City) Rap Tran L §103

Exemption Application Form:

RP-489-d and 489-dd

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