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Exemptions from Real Property Taxation in New York State: 2011 County, City & Town Assessment Rolls

Introduction

All real property in New York is subject to taxation unless specific legal provisions grant it exempt status, whereas personal property is not subject to taxation. Real property tax exemptions are granted on the basis of many different criteria, including the use to which the property is put, the owner's ability to pay taxes, the desire of the state and local governments to encourage certain economic or social activities, and other such considerations.1 Certain exemptions provide full relief from taxation (wholly exempt property) and others reduce the taxes which would otherwise be payable by varying degrees (partially exempt property). Some exemptions apply to taxes levied for county, city/town, and school purposes, whereas others pertain only to some of these purposes. Yet another difference involves the extent of local government autonomy: while some exemptions are mandated by state law, others are subject to local option and/or local determination of eligibility criteria.

This report presents exemption data for 2011 assessment rolls prepared by local assessors throughout New York.2 It covers town, city, and county (Tompkins and Nassau Counties) assessment rolls only; village rolls are not included.

Ultimately, the accuracy of the figures presented depends on the accuracy of the data submitted on the rolls. Although the overwhelming majority of reported exemptions could be related to specific legal provisions through the standardized reporting system provided by the Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS), a very small percentage could not be classified because incorrect codes were used, and are thus omitted from certain tables in this report. Similarly, any errors made by assessors in determining the value of a parcel, or the extent to which this value is exempt from taxation, will appear in the data contained herein. Also, experience has shown that some assessors may not keep the values placed on wholly exempt property fully up to date, as valuation of such property has, for the most part, no effect on local tax revenue. Incorrect assessed values may overstate or understate the effect of exemptions on local tax bases.

The remainder of the report presents a summary of the 2011 statewide statistics on exempt property, followed by Appendix A which contains a list of abbreviations and definitions for terms used in the detailed tables that comprise Appendix B.

 

 Distribution of Exemptions by type of Ownership

Table 1. Real property tax exemptions by property group, 2011 assessment rolls
GroupNumber of exemptionsEqualized exempt value ($000)
A. Residential Property other than Multiple Dwellings Non-Residential Property Owned by Certain Individuals 4,153,439 $227,541,082
B. Property of New York State Government and Agencies 19,746 79,414,931
C. Property of Municipal Governments and Agencies, School Districts, BOCES, and Special Districts 101,346 201,014,432
D. Property of U.S. and Foreign Governments and Agencies, International or Interstate Agencies, and Indian Tribes 4,039 46,939,304
E. Property of Private Community Service Organizations, Social Organizations, and Professional Societies 69,951 113,313,596
F. Industrial, Commercial, and Public Service Property 24,775 73,547,064
G. Urban Renewal Property, Public Housing, and Private Subsidized Housing (Multiple Dwellings) 111,584 57,705,656
H. Agricultural and Forest Property 101,380 7,124,053
Total, Valid Exemption Codes 4,586,260 806,600,118
Invalid Codes 2,915 1,387,664
TOTAL 4,589,175 $807,987,782

 

Table 2. Exemptions for county purposes: Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of exempt value, 2011 assessment rolls
A. Ten with highest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
A. TEN WITH HIGHEST INCIDENCE
  COUNTIES CITIES TOWNS
    Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
  Pct.
Exempt
1. Tompkins 39.84% Rensselaer (Ren.) 64.89% Harrisburg (Lew.) 88.32%
2. Seneca 38.10% Ogdensburg (St. L.) 63.84% Ashford (Cat.) 87.10%
3. St. Lawrence 37.97% Salamanca (Cat.) 62.50% Somerset (Nia.) 86.92%
4. Niagara 37.94% Ithaca (Tom.) 61.52% Martinsburg (Lew.) 84.32%
5. Lewis 37.60% Troy (Ren.) 59.39% Alfred (All.) 79.36%
6. Allegany 34.47% Geneva (Ont.) 59.09% Romulus (Sen.) 78.48%
7. Cattaraugus 33.94% Albany (Alb.) 57.59% Clinton (Cli.) 76.81%
8. Rensselaer 32.99% Watervliet (Alb.) 54.65% Athens (Gre.) 76.44%
9. Oneida 31.53% Dunkirk (Cha.) 53.83% Marcy (One.) 75.14%
10. Albany 31.27% Oneonta (Ots.) 51.44% Eagle (Wyo.) 74.92%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
1. Hamilton 7.59% Long Beach (Nas.) 10.53% Benson (Ham.) 1.16%
2. Putnam 10.73% Lockport (Nia.) 14.27% Arietta (Ham.) 2.33%
3. Warren 11.05% Mechanicville (Sar.) 15.56% Hope (Ham.) 2.63%
4. Ulster 14.00% Rye (Wes.) 16.74% Inlet (Ham.) 2.76%
5. Saratoga 14.24% Tonawanda (Eri.) 16.97% Ohio (Her.) 2.96%
6. Rockland 15.16% No. Tonawanda (Nia.) 17.37% Wayne (Ste.) 3.27%
7. Washington 15.35% Saratoga Spgs (Sar.) 18.41% Pittsfield (Ots.) 3.38%
8. Columbia 15.88% Glen Cove (Nas.) 19.14% Horicon (War.) 3.55%
9. Fulton 16.25% Sherrill (One.) 20.89% Ellicottville (Cat.) 3.60%
10. Schuyler 17.09% Fulton (Osw.) 21.37% Bolton (War.) 3.66%

 

Table 3. Exemptions for county purposes: Counties ranked by percent of full value exempt, 2011 assessment rolls*
RankCountyNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Tompkins 7,244 4,193,419 39.84%
2. Seneca 5,471 1,104,726 38.10%
3. St Lawrence 13,258 3,253,649 37.97%
4. Niagara 22,364 5,737,086 37.94%
5. Lewis 5,526 1,097,608 37.60%
6. Allegany 7,517 950,333 34.47%
7. Cattaraugus 11,320 2,013,366 33.94%
8. Rensselaer 15,407 5,151,815 32.99%
9. Oneida 27,593 5,106,770 31.53%
10. Albany 24,705 10,776,792 31.27%
11. Montgomery 6,957 949,525 30.46%
12. Wyoming 6,603 885,953 30.37%
13. Greene 5,461 2,360,220 29.46%
14. Jefferson 11,.821 3,037,835 28.92%
15. Clinton 9,804 1,810,488 28.11%
16. Broome 18,825 3,659,696 27.38%
17. Steuben 14,544 1,867,489 26.18%
18. Schoharie 5,185 762,314 25.64%
19. Livingston 7,995 1,079,958 25.04%
20. Chautauqua 17,505 2,206,222 24.85%
21. Onondaga 46,369 8,327,879 24.63%
22. Yates 4,762 711,774 24.30%
23. Tioga 5,574 749,354 23.82%
24. Westchester 42,066 48,238,221 23.79%
25. Genesee 8,839 784,445 23.17%
26. Erie 97,707 14,142,415 23.04%
27. Madison 8,854 1,148,745 22.68%
28. Chemung 8,325 1,098,327 22.13%
29. Otsego 6,943 1,296,740 22.11%
30. Cortland 5,487 624,280 22.09%
31. Franklin 4,346 973,866 21.61%
32. Ontario 11,525 2,178,095 21.54%
33. Schenectady 13,553 2,728,051 21.26%
34. Essex 6,579 1,681,109 21.08%
35. Wayne 10,611 1,201,366 20.58%
36. Nassau 84,975 55,858,991 20.49%
37. Suffolk 131,286 68,729,926 20.47%
38. Orleans 5,456 406,752 20.22%
39. Cayuga 11,243 1,096,566 20.20%
40. Monroe 58,778 9,730,139 19.92%
41. Dutchess 21,247 7,999,074 19.89%
42. Herkimer 7,135 1,058,228 19.84%
43. Sullivan 9,501 2,014,434 19.68%
44. Chenango 6,767 571,811 19.66%
45. Orange 25,816 7,480,115 18.38%
46. Oswego 12,655 1,601,219 17.69%
47. Delaware 5,482 1,188,520 17.64%
48. Schuyler 3,034 247,900 17.09%
49. Fulton 6,461 597,230 16.25%
50. Columbia 8,932 1,464,426 15.88%
51. Washington 8,740 889,748 15.35%
52. Rockland 18,090 6,670,547 15.16%
53. Saratoga 15,851 3,669,305 14.24%
54. Ulster 15,995 3,032,158 14.00%
55. Warren 6,660 1,327,319 11.05%
56. Putnam 7,206 1,688,392 10.73%
57. Hamilton 1,010 229,234 7.59%
*Excludes New York City boroughs; New York City data included in Table 4.

 

Table 4. Exemptions for county purposes: Cities ranked by percent of full value exempt, 2011 assessment rolls
RankCityNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Rensselaer 725 816,204 64.89%
2. Ogdensburg 1,186 491,943 63.84%
3. Salamanca 1,416 155,616 62.50%
4. Ithaca 948 2,427,388 61.52%
5. Troy 2,998 2,709,769 59.39%
6. Geneva 1,080 514,626 59.09%
7. Albany 7,178 6,524,941 57.59%
8. Watervliet 593 460.564 54.65%
9. Dunkirk 1,421 381,826 53.83%
10. Oneonta 569 479,387 51.44%
11. Syracuse 8,815 4,451,183 50.75%
12. Peekskill 1,075 1,648,236 49.47%
13. Rome 3,906 955,006 45.95%
14. Niagara Falls 5,328 1,116,036 44.90%
15. Little Falls 435 118,246 43.64%
16. Hudson 656 236,790 40.55%
17. Yonkers 7,644 9,170,627 37.12%
18. Buffalo 24,217 3,736,174 36.85%
19. Jamestown 2,538 384,266 36.75%
20. Elmira 2,105 365,988 36.72%
21. Norwich 504 120,889 36.64%
22. Utica 5,692 862,701 36.55%
23. Plattsburgh 1,360 499,630 36.17%
24. Cortland 1,110 299,152 36.08%
25. Schenectady 4,772 1,287,054 35.03%
26. Oswego 1,449 413,131 34.72%
27. White Plains 1,747 4,206,668 34.56%
28. Binghamton 3,594 789,560 33.33%
29. Olean 1,444 248,015 33.22%
30. Hornell 861 113,381 32.97%
31. New York City 935,647 338,570,433 32.40%
32. Newburgh 1,045 519,192 32.27%
33. Watertown 2,049 474,691 30.86%
34. Auburn 2,556 424,189 30.21%
35. Rochester 11,732 2,413,402 29.61%
36. Johnstown 853 155,605 29.31%
37. New Rochelle 2,526 3,875,490 29.27%
38. Amsterdam 1,607 204,009 29.16%
39. Gloversville 1,380 142,430 28.63%
40. Canandaigua 722 267,560 28.58%
41. Cohoes 1,187 289,927 28.47%
42. Corning 1,167 203,204 27.89%
43. Poughkeepsie 1,526 720,924 27.08%
44. Lackawanna 2,186 168,870 26.75%
45. Batavia 1,433 183,317 25.61%
46. Mt Vernon 1,813 1,528,668 24.76%
47. Glens Falls 1,101 320,474 24.52%
48. Middletown 1,233 458,475 23.45%
49. Oneida 1,136 148,248 23.33%
50. Beacon 888 330,819 23.29%
51. Kingston 1,334 452,537 22.24%
52. Port Jervis 683 119,161 21.70%
53. Fulton 1,073 94,104 21.37%
54. Sherrill 434 44,421 20.89%
55. Glen Cove 935 869,288 19.14%
56. Saratoga Spgs 1,619 846,908 18.41%
57. No. Tonawanda 3,835 254,532 17.37%
58. Tonawanda 2,064 120,500 16.97%
59. Rye 633 1,264,862 16.74%
60. Mechanicville 302 36,674 15.56%
61. Lockport 1,538 118,677 14.27%
62. Long Beach 1,379 581,805 10.53%

 

Table 5. Exemptions for county purposes: Towns with over 50 percent full value exempt, 2011 assessment rolls
RankTownNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Harrisburg 230 230,047 88.32%
2. Ashford 354 835,119 87.10%
3. Somerset 374 928,915 86.92%
4. Martinsburg 485 316,488 84.32%
5. Alfred 284 365,330 79.36%
6. Romulus 442 503,776 78.48%
7. Clinton 203 137,371 76.81%
8. Athens 548 1,514,463 76.44%
9. Marcy 710 1,281,740 75.14%
10. Eagle 342 161,716 74.92%
11. Wethersfield 280 120,416 73.67%
12. Le Ray 756 1,082,899 71.95%
13. Greenwood 231 133,917 70.38%
14. Lewiston 1,547 2,180,777 68.93%
15. Massena 1,353 1,196,689 68.89%
16. Chateaugay 305 156,368 67.59%
17. Blenheim 144 79,382 66.52%
18. Altona 365 175,923 64.59%
19. Cohocton 663 162,958 59.83%
20. Sheldon 508 194,165 57.25%
21. Florida 469 241,055 57.25%
22. Eaton 663 235,064 55.51%
23. Fairfield 320 101,115 53.63%
24. Ellenburg 418 128,199 53.29%
25. Delhi 355 364,997 51.56%
26. Hamilton 601 279,736 51.49%
27. Waddington 394 138,133 51.36%
28. Junius 367 59,246 51.13%
29. Sharon 387 103,280 50.91%
30. Groveland 337 125,177 50.19%
31. Hopewell 509 205,965 50.12%

 

Table 6. Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of
local-option exempt value, 2011 assessment rolls
A. Ten with highest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*
    Pct.
Local-
Option*
  Pct.
Local-
Option*
  Pct.
Local-
Option*
1 Lewis 46.00% Lackawanna (Eri.) 29.37% Harrisburg (Lew.) 95.56%
2 Hamilton 20.56% Saratoga Spgs (Sar.) 28.29% Martinsburg (Lew.) 88.51%
3 Wayne 19.42% Cohoes (Alb) 24.34% Fenner (Mad.) 65.20%
4 Nassau 17.41% Johnstown (Ful.) 23.80% Ontario (Way.) 64.87%
5 Fulton 16.98% Auburn (Cay.) 21.20% Shelter Island (Suf.) 49.20%
6 Columbia 16.27% Long Beach (Nas.) 18.99% Madison (Mad.) 46.07%
7 Orleans 14.88% Glen Cove (Nas.) 17.46% St. Armand (Ess.) 41.11%
8 Saratoga 14.32% Tonawanda (Eri.) 15.63% Watson (Lew.) 40.51%
9 Schenectady 14.18% Poughkeepsie (Dut.) 15.55% Lake Pleasant (Ham.) 39.92%
10 Washington 13.96% No. Tonawanda (Nia.) 15.35% Chautauqua (Cha.) 39.71%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*
1 Tompkins 3.55% Ithaca (Tom.) 1.27% Red House (Cat.) 0.00%
2 Allegany 4.17% Little Falls (Her.) 2.36% Alfred (All.) 0.59%
3 Delaware 4.82% White Plains (Wes.) 3.08% Someset (Nia.) 0.61%
4 Wyoming 5.15% Geneve (Ont.) 3.09% Ashford (Cat.) 0.62%
5 Niagara 5.55% Peekskill (Wes.) 3.80% Romulus (Sen.) 0.69%
6 St. Lawrence 5.67% Albany (Alb.) 3.86% Eagle (Wyo.) 0.80%
7 Yates 5.82% Watervliet (Alb.) 3.92% Norway (Her.) 0.82%
8 Cattaraugus 5.96% Rensselaer (Ren.) 4.29% Clinton (Cli.) 0.84%
9 Schuyler 6.36% Dunkirk (Cha.) 4.46% Sheldon (Wyo.) 0.89%
10 Seneca 6.43% Ogdensburg (St. L) 4.49% Delhi (Del.) 1.01%

*Exempt value of local-option exemptions divided by total exempt value.

 

 

Table 7. Exempt value attributable to local option, counties ranked by percent of exempt value, 2011 assessment rolls
RankCountyExempt value local option ($000)Total exempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Lewis 635,257 1,381,080 46.00%
2. Hamilton 64,177 312,113 20.56%
3. Wayne 417,912 2,151,983 19.42%
4. Nassau 15,246,600 87,576,134 17.41%
5. Fulton 195,295 1,149,994 16.98%
6. Columbia 339,671 2,087,410 16.27%
7. Orleans 120,268 808,162 14.88%
8. Saratoga 930,895 6,501,309 14.32%
9. Schenectady 589,076 4,153,123 14.18%
10. Washington 213,120 1,526,656 13.96%
11. Monroe 2,197,118 15,976,512 13.75%
12. Cayuga 253,668 1,856,530 13.66%
13. Erie 2,987,106 22,147,043 13.49%
14. Onondaga 1,631,544 12,298,676 13.27%
15. Madison 237,632 1,833,646 12.96%
16. Rockland 1,507,344 11,862,159 12.71%
17. Suffolk 11,820,160 93,933,686 12.58%
18. Herkimer 212,543 1,707,532 12.45%
19. Putnam 416,546 3,484,118 11.96%
20. Broome 654,325 5,494,175 11.91%
21. Ulster 586,210 5,000,579 11.72%
22. Warren 228,194 1,999,716 11.41%
23. Dutchess 1,328,383 11,902,682 11.16%
24. Livingston 183,087 1,668,313 10.97%
25. Rennselaer 674,190 6,516,892 10.35%
26. Essex 214,757 2,113,318 10.16%
27. Chautauqua 341,145 3,497,110 9.76%
28. Orange 1,105,711 11,519,386 9.60%
29. Oswego 262,093 2,735,907 9.58%
30. Genesee 128,936 1,377,975 9.36%
31. Cortland 92,933 1,046,195 8.88%
32. Albany 1,175,062 13,310,165 8.83%
33. Oneida 635,847 7,321,442 8.68%
34. Westchester 5,556,714 65,800,968 8.44%
35. Sullivan 213,141 2,602,089 8.19%
36. Tioga 100,595 1,273,635 7.90%
37. Clinton 196,447 2,516,045 7.81%
38. Jefferson 305,298 3,922,929 7.78%
39. Ontario 252,066 3,254,669 7.74%
40. Chenango 82,787 1,074,150 7.71%
41. Schoharie 81,207 1,096,982 7.40%
42. Otsego 138,578 1,900,010 7.29%
43. Steuben 205,481 2,887,567 7.12%
44. Chemung 136,872 1,933,131 7.08%
45. Franklin 97,697 1,419,422 6.88%
46. Montgomery 94,676 1,428,687 6.63%
47. Greene 189,834 2,939,543 6.46%
48. Seneca 92,441 1,437,192 6.43%
49. Schuyler 28,733 451,707 6.36%
50. Cattaraugus 165,559 2,778,834 5.96%
51. Yates 56,421 969,654 5.82%
52. St Lawrence 243,781 4,297,357 5.67%
53. Niagara 437,657 7,883,833 5.55%
54. Wyoming 66,453 1,291,031 5.15%
55. Delaware 83,422 1,731,743 4.82%
56. Allegany 58,288 1,396,870 4.17%
57. Tompkins 173,191 4,877,582 3.55%

 

Table 8. City/Town distribution of exempt value attributable to local option exemptions: 2014 assessment rolls
Percent of value in local option exemptionsNumber of cities/townsPercent of cities/towns
0 - 9.99 536 53.92%
10 - 19.99 390 39.24%
20 - 29.99 50 5.03%
30 - 39.99 10 1.01%
40 or more 8 0.80%

1 Most exemptions are granted under Article 4 of the Real Property Tax Law, but others are authorized by a wide variety of statutes ranging from the Agriculture and Markets Law to the Transportation Law.

2The material in the report relates to exemptions only. Not covered are the restricted assessments which apply to certain types of property (e.g., condominiums), tax abatement programs, and formerly real property which has been statutorily redefined as personal (non-taxable) property (e.g., certain switching equipment owned by telephone companies). Restricted assessments, tax abatements, and statutory redefinitions, like exemptions, are tax expenditures in that they reduce or shift tax liability.

 

 

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