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Exemptions from Real Property Taxation in New York State: 2013 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 2013 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 2013 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.

 Figure 1 is showing two pie charts. 1st pie chart Percent of exemptions is showing Partly exempt, private at 95.2%; partly exempt, public 0.2% ; wholly exempt, private at 1.6%, and wholly exempt, public at 3.0%. 2nd pie chart is Percent of exempt value, shows wholly exempt, public at 49.7%; privately exempt, private at 34.8%; wholly exempt, private at 15.0%; partly exempt, public at 0.5%

 

Table 1. Real property tax exemptions by property group, 2013 assessment rolls
GroupNumber of exemptionsEqualized exempt value ($000)
A. Residential Property other than Multiple Dwellings Non-Residential Property Owned by Certain Individuals 4,102,082 $216,872,071
B. Property of New York State Government and Agencies 20,021 80.522.574
C. Property of Municipal Governments and Agencies, School Districts, BOCES, and Special Districts 104,716 213,852,686
D. Property of U.S. and Foreign Governments and Agencies, International or Interstate Agencies, and Indian Tribes 4,039 54,424,972
E. Property of Private Community Service Organizations, Social Organizations, and Professional Societies 69,120 112,069,896
F. Industrial, Commercial, and Public Service Property 23,250 75,530,633
G. Urban Renewal Property, Public Housing, and Private Subsidized Housing (Multiple Dwellings) 118,240 65,568,241
H. Agricultural and Forest Property 107,244 7,080,470
Total, Valid Exemption Codes 4,548,712 825,921,543
Invalid Codes 2,965 948,947
TOTAL 4,551,677 $826,870,490

 

Table 2. Exemptions for county purposes: Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of exempt value, 2013 assessment rolls
A. Ten with highest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
1. Tompkins 40.32% Rensselaer (Ren.) 67.07% Clinton (Cli.) 88.38%
2. Seneca 38.35% Ogdensburg (St. L.) 64.49% Harrisburg (Lew.) 87.84%
3. St. Lawrence 37.45% Salamanca (Cat.) 63.10% Martinsburg (Lew.) 87.33%
4. Oswego 36.38% Ithaca (Tom.) 61.45% Ashford (Cat.) 87.12%
5. Niagara 36.01% Albany (Alb.) 61.43% Alfred (All.) 79.26%
6. Cattaraugus 34.46% Geneva (Ont.) 59.76% Romulus (Sen.) 78.17%
7. Lewis 34.41% Dunkirk (Cha.) 53.73% Somerset (Nia.) 77.99%
8. Allegany 33.78% Oneonta (Ots.) 51.59% Marcy (One.) 75.20%
9. Albany 32.08% Syracuse (Ono.) 51.32% Eagle (Wyo.) 74.58%
10. Montgomery 31.19% Peekskill (Wes.) 49.75% Athens (Gre.) 73.31%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
1. Hamilton 8.27% Long Beach (Nas.) 10.98% Benson (Ham.) 1.05%
2. Putnam 11.01% Sherrill (One.) 13.61% Arietta (Ham.) 2.41%
3. Warren 11.30% Lockport (Nia.) 14.60% Inlet (Ham.) 2.72%
4. Ulster 14.73% Mechanicville (Sar.) 15.18% Stratford (Ful.) 2.81%
5. Washington 14.93% Tonawanda (Eri.) 16.35% Wayne (Ste.) 2.94%
6. Saratoga 14.98% Rye (Wes.) 16.48% Hope (Ham.) 3.10%
7. Fulton 15.27% North Tonawanda (Nia.) 16.97% Pittsfield (Ots.) 3.24%
8. Rockland 15.72% Saratoga Springs (Sar.) 18.29% Ellicottville (Cat.) 3.39%
9. Columbia 15.75% Glen Cove (Nas.) 19.17% Bolton (War.) 3.40%
10. Schuyler 16.88% Port Jervis (Ora.) 21.54% Ohio (Her.) 3.40%

 

Table 3. Exemptions for county purposes: Counties ranked by percent of full value exempt, 2013 assessment rolls*
RankCountyNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Tompkins 7,293 4,427,926 40.32%
2. Seneca 5,390 1,146,870 38.35%
3. St Lawrence 13,520 3,269,717 37.45%
4. Oswego 12,644 3,299,537 36.38%
5. Niagara 22,150 5,375,714 36.01%
6. Cattaraugus 11,428 2,075,407 34.46%
7. Lewis 5,452 994,335 34.41%
8. Allegany 7,676 939,886 33.78%
9. Albany 23,993 10,704,992 32.08%
10. Montgomery 6,733 992,299 31.19%
11. Clinton 9,891 2,021,598 30.04%
12. Oneida 26,345 4,637,602 30.04%
13. Wyoming 6,642 884,945 29.87%
14. Jefferson 12,240 3,057,284 28.48%
15. Greene 5,395 2,165,896 28.05%
16. Rensselaer 14,901 3,816,020 27.65%
17. Broome 18,135 3,512,813 27.24%
18. Steuben 14,641 1,940,553 26.74%
19. Onondaga 45,197 8,700,895 25.23%
20. Chautauqua 17,606 2,269,908 24.97%
21. Schoharie 5,253 734,021 24.75%
22. Livingston 7,994 1,056,073 24.33%
23. Genesee 8,783 851,143 24.00%
24. Tioga 5,531 769,852 23.87%
25. Erie 94,016 14,510,635 23.21%
26. Westchester 40,338 44,817,427 23.11%
27. Madison 8,662 1,136,502 22.46%
28. Schenectady 13,213 2,721,261 22.40%
29. Chemung 8,002 1,175,396 22.34%
30. Otsego 7,145 1,249,692 22.00%
31. Cortland 5,482 621,806 21.81%
32. Yates 4,808 625,607 21.72%
33. Ontario 11,476 2,271,648 21.66%
34. Franklin 4,603 952,625 21.29%
35. Nassau 81,315 53,266,130 21.19%
36. Dutchess 21,066 7,942,312 20.98%
37. Essex 6,406 1,630,549 20.84%
38. Orleans 5,554 426,397 20.73%
39. Wayne 10,631 1,216,128 20.66%
40. Suffolk 129,305 66,043,297 20.47%
41. Cayuga 11,078 1,107,592 20.29%
42. Sullivan 9,505 1,870,470 19.95%
43. Monroe 58,431 9,782,867 19.76%
44. Herkimer 7,028 1,021,459 19.13%
45. Chenango 6,680 551.119 19.09%
46. Orange 25,838 6,897,947 18.97%
47. Delaware 5,435 1,165,488 17.31%
48. Schuyler 3,178 262,799 16.88%
49. Columbia 8,674 1,350,320 15.75%
50. Rockland 18,351 6,500,886 15.72%
51. Fulton 6,183 547,928 15.27%
52. Saratoga 15,782 3,923,602 14.98%
53. Washington 8,872 827,654 14.93%
54. Ulster 16,616 3,062,522 14.73%
55. Warren 7,288 1,301,279 11.30%
56. Putnam 7,163 1,629,085 11.01%
57. Hamilton 1,007 245,350 8.27%
*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, 2013 assessment rolls
RankCityNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Rensselaer 708 809,135 67.07%
2. Ogdensburg 1,214 494,958 64.49%
3. Salamanca 1,430 155,938 63.10%
4. Ithaca 898 2,492,463 61.45%
5. Albany 6,987 6,802,074 61.43%
6. Geneva 994 553,437 59.76%
7. Dunkirk 1,373 396,643 53.73%
8. Oneonta 554 460,327 51.59%
9. Syracuse 8,456 4,727,777 51.32%
10. Peekskill 1,017 1,433,359 49.75%
11. Niagara Falls 5,133 1,156,858 45.14%
12. Watervliet 596 305,805 44.51%
13. Troy 2,672 1,426,103 44.45%
14. Little Falls 429 124,622 44.06%
15. Rome 3,697 785,576 40.62%
16. Jamestown 2,525 396,797 37.52%
17. Schenectady 4,689 1,249,507 37.24%
18. Oswego 1,345 430,942 37.15%
19. Yonkers 7,427 8,725,276 36.79%
20. Newburgh 1,059 546,530 36.49%
21. Buffalo 23,568 3,740,492 36.45%
22. Utica 5,480 808,504 36.41%
23. Norwich 476 112,876 36.33%
24. Cortland 1,019 297,176 36.19%
25. Elmira 1,948 363,515 36.08%
26. Plattsburgh 1,299 500,215 34.93%
27. Hudson 592 203,188 34.87%
28. White Plains 1,671 3,832,536 34.29%
29. Hornell 815 117,756 33.93%
30. Binghamton 3,371 743,289 33.50%
31. Olean 1,353 248,905 33.27%
32. Auburn 2,388 461,346 32.86%
33. New York City 945,842 371,078,277 32.71%
34. Watertown 1,954 521,233 30.83%
35. Canandaigua 694 294,129 30.59%
36. Rochester 11,808 2,484,848 29.68%
37. Cohoes 1,131 299,475 29.66%
38. Amsterdam 1,490 191,333 29.12%
39. Poughkeepsie 1,444 679,988 28.91%
40. Batavia 1,385 222,160 28.53%
41. New Rochelle 2,409 3,488,842 28.31%
42. Gloversville 1,308 128,688 27.19%
43. Lackawanna 2,095 177,968 26.62%
44. Corning 1,044 192,203 26.25%
45. Johnstown 777 129,415 26.23%
46. Glens Falls 1,190 316,346 25.13%
47. Beacon 862 342,310 24.86%
48. Mt Vernon 1,657 1,279,500 24.36%
49. Kingston 1,527 447,922 24.01%
50. Oneida 1,082 148,768 23.20%
51. Middletown 1,210 360,389 23.03%
52. Fulton 1,021 98,232 22.57%
53. Port Jervis 644 100,328 21.54%
54. Glen Cove 865 867,329 19.17%
55. Saratoga Springs 1,578 845,372 18.29%
56. North Tonawanda 3,793 249,386 16.97%
57. Rye 600 1,392,759 16.48%
58. Tonawanda 1,977 115,468 16.35%
59. Mechanicville 284 36,710 15.18%
60. Lockport 1.497 120,242 14.60%
61. Sherrill 42 27,207 13.61%
62. Long Beach 1,320 551,460 10.98%

 

Table 5. Exemptions for county purposes: Towns with over 50 percent full value exempt, 2013 assessment rolls
RankTownNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Clinton 252 313,255 88.38%
2. Harrisburg 243 229,879 87.84%
3. Martinsburg 487 334,256 87.33%
4. Ashford 350 832,052 87.12%
5. Alfred 308 360,304 79.26%
6. Romulus 430 528,409 78.17%
7. Somerset 395 493,443 77.99%
8. Marcy 704 1,193,058 75.20%
9. Eagle 362 161,211 74.58%
10. Athens 544 1,322,786 73.31%
11. Wethersfield 280 123,989 72.72%
12. Greenwood 262 135,089 71.54%
13. Le Ray 757 1,090,391 70.43%
14. Lewiston 1,531 2,208,978 68.73%
15. Massena 1,307 1,193,529 68.69%
16. Scriba 713 1,944,351 68.38%
17. Chateaugay 316 154,130 67.37%
18. Blenheim 146 74,474 66.72%
19. Altona 374 176,155 64.29%
20. Ellenburg 446 188,938 62.65%
21. Florida 481 322,110 62.14%
22. Cohocton 674 160,804 59.57%
23. Sheldon 516 197,085 57.03%
24. Eaton 657 243,414 56.13%
25. Conewango 368 62,041 54.24%
26. Fairfield 314 99,716 52.71%
27. Hamilton 551 277,151 51.01%
28. Delhi 354 347,765 50.97%
29. Waddington 387 138,082 50.94%

 

Table 6. Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of
local-option exempt value, 2013 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 50.82% Lackawanna (Eri.) 29.36% Harrisburg (Lew.) 95.71%
2 Oswego 39.88% Saratoga Spgs (Sar.) 27.71% Martinsburg (Lew.) 89.21%
3 Hamilton 19.37% Johnstown (Ful.) 24.12% Scriba (Osw.) 75.77%
4 Wayne 18.83% Cohoes (Alb.) 22.41% Fenner (Mad.) 65.23%
5 Nassau 16.64% Auburn (Cay.) 19.15% Ontario (Way.) 64.35%
6 Columbia 16.16% Long Beach (Nas.) 17.84% Shelter Island (Suf.) 49.78%
7 Fulton 16.14% Sherrill (One.) 17.71% Madison (Mad.) 45.60%
8 Monroe 13.82% Glen Cove (Nas.) 17.56% Lake Pleasant (Ham.) 40.83%
9 Washington 13.59% North Tonawanda (Nia.) 15.24% Chautauqua (Cha.) 40.36%
10 Orleans 13.59% Tonawanda (Eri.) 14.75% Tyre (Sen.) 37.53%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*
1 Tompkins 3.32% Ithaca (Tom.) 1.21% Red House (Cat.) 0.22%
2 Allegany 4.16% LIttle Falls (Her.) 2.27% Clinton (Cli.) 0.39%
3 Delaware 4.42% White Plains (Wes.) 2.56% Alfred (All.) 0.62%
4 Wyoming 5.22% Geneva (Ont.) 2.80% Ashford (Cat.) 0.64%
5 St Lawrence 5.41% Albany (Alb.) 3.18% Romulus (Sen.) 0.69%
6 Cattaraugus 5.49% Peekskill (Wes.) 3.40% Delhi (Del.) 0.92%
7 Niagara 5.76% Rensselaer (Ren.) 4.13% Norway (Her.) 0.93%
8 Montgomery 6.10% Ogdensburg (St. L) 4.15% Eagle (Wyo.) 0.93%
9 Yates 6.32% Elmira (Che.) 4.40% Montague (Lew.) 1.02%
10 Chemung 6.38% Dunkirk (Cha.) 4.40% Greenwood (Ste.) 1.14%

 

Table 7. Exempt value attributable to local option, counties ranked by percent of exempt value, 2013 assessment rolls
RankCountyExempt value local option ($000)Total exempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Lewis 650,804 1,280,625 50.82%
2. Oswego 1,771,382 4,442,314 39.88%
3. Hamilton 63,498 327,893 19.37%
4. Wayne 411,884 2,187,551 18.83%
5. Nassau 13,894,238 83,494,441 16.64%
6. Columbia 315,268 1,951,211 16.16%
7 Fulton 175,742 1,089,050 16.14%
8. Monroe 2,226,856 16,112,720 13.82%
9. Washington 198,807 1,462,759 13.59%
10. Orleans 113,680 836,593 13.59%
11. Warren 264,977 1,974,816 13.42%
12. Saratoga 912,956 6,816,846 13.39%
13. Ulster 635,826 4,856,296 13.09%
14. Cayuga 240,016 1,871,932 12.82%
15. Rockland 1,419,577 11,137,014 12.75%
16. Erie 2,843,740 22,590,250 12.59%
17. Onondaga 1,586,450 12,718,712 12.47%
18. Schenectady 509,955 4,101,771 12.43%
19. Madison 225,395 1,828,716 12.33%
20. Suffolk 10,893,559 89,323,364 12.20%
21. Putnam 389,399 3,266,151 11.92%
22. Herkimer 199,629 1,686,049 11.84%
23. Broome 611,136 5,368,291 11.38%
24. Rensselaer 579,587 5,162,579 11.23%
25. Dutchess 1,261,939 11,525,111 10.95%
26. Essex 197,680 2,049,002 9.65%
27. Chautauqua 343,125 3,564,424 9.63%
28. Livingston 157,098 1,650,965 9.52%
29. Orange 1,000,183 10,547,953 9.48%
30. Cortland 93,039 1,049,026 8.87%
31. Genesee 126,768 1,450,622 8.74%
32. Oneida 567,939 6,751,194 8.41%
33. Jefferson 322,511 3,914,748 8.24%
34. Sullivan 198,886 2,466,747 8.06%
35. Albany 1,053,200 13,136,721 8.02%
36. Westchester 4,974,695 62,702,344 7.93%
37. Seneca 113,307 1,480,312 7.65%
38. Ontario 254,422 3,369,005 7.55%
39. Otsego 136,982 1,853,536 7.39%
40. Chenango 77,569 1,053,600 7.36%
41. Clinton 198,259 2,739,181 7.24%
42. Tioga 94,460 1,318,328 7.17%
43. Schoharie 76,437 1,077,292 7.10%
44. Schuyler 31,302 ,472,744 6.62%
45. Steuben 195,163 2,948,697 6.62%
46. Greene 179,476 2,762,173 6.50%
47. Franklin 89,967 1,396,719 6.44%
48. Chemung 130,608 2,047,928 6.38%
49. Yates 55,833 883,692 6.32%
50. Montgomery 90,421 1,483,089 6.10%
51. Niagara 434,664 7,546,302 5.76%
52. Cattaraugus 155,715 2,835,714 5.49%
53. St Lawrence 233,726 4,320,945 5.41%
54. Wyoming 67,929 1,300,623 5.22%
55. Delaware 74,922 1,696,871 4.42%
56. Allegany 57,882 1,389,727 4.16%
57. Tompkins 170,112 5,118,934 3.32%

 

Table 8. City/Town distribution of exempt value attributable to local option exemptions: 2013 assessment rolls
Percent of value in local option exemptionsNumber of cities/townsPercent of cities/towns
0 - 9.99 554 55.73%
10 - 19.99 373 37.53%
20 - 29.99 48 4.83%
30 - 39.99 10 1.01%
40 or more 9 0.91%

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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