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Exemptions from real property taxation in New York State: 2015 county, city, and 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 2015 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 NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, 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 2015 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, 2015 assessment rolls
GroupNumber of exemptionsEqualized exempt value ($000)
A. Residential property other than multiple dwellings non-residential property owned by certain individuals 3,867,238 217030,342
B. Property of New York State government and agencies 20,776 87,205,771
C. Property of municipal governments and agencies, school districts, BOCES, and special districts 111,852 226,846,135
D. Property of U.S. and foreign governments and agencies, international or interstate agencies, and Indian tribes 4,706 555,564,703
E. Property of private community service organizations, social organizations, and professional societies 69,494 118,926,140
F. Industrial, commercial, and public service property 23,736 77,211,728
G. Urban renewal property, public housing, and private subsidized housing (multiple dwellings) 120,111 74,114,525
H. Agricultural and forest property 111,338 7,953,580
Total, valid exemption codes 4,329,251 864,852,924
Invalid codes 2,970 912,238
Total 4,332,221 $865,765,162

 

Table 2. Exemptions for county purposes: Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of exempt value, 2015 assessment rolls
A. Ten with highest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
1. Tompkins 39.58% Rensselaer (Ren.) 67.06% Clinton (Cli.) 87.82%
2. Seneca 37.15% Salamanca (Cat.) 64.26% Harrisburg (Lew.)     87.51%
3. St Lawrence 37.12% Albany (Alb.) 61.07% Ashford (Cat.) 87.13%
4. Niagara 36.37% Ithaca (Tom.) 60.06% Alfred (All.) 79.20%
5. Cattaraugus 34.24% Geneva (Ont.) 59.55% Martinsburg (Lew.) 79.12%
6. Wyoming 33.78% Ogdensburg (St. L) 59.04% Somerset (Nia.) 78.04%
7. Oneida 33.37% Dunkirk (Cha.) 54.00% Romulus (Sen.) 77.88%
8. Lewis 32.35% Syracuse (Ono.) 52.02% Blenheim (Sch.) 74.92%
9 Albany 31.91% Oneonta (Ots.) 54.66% Athens (Gre.) 73.45%
10. Allegany 31.73% Peekskill (Wes.) 49.95% Eagle (Wyo.) 73.13%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. exemptNamePct. exemptNamePct. exempt
1. Hamilon 8.50% Long Beach (Nas.) 11.04% Benson (Ham.) 1.12%
2. Putnam 11.03% Sherrill (One.) 12.45% Arietta (Ham.) 2.28%
3. Warren 11.30% Tonawanda (Eri.) 15.06% Inlet (Ham.) 2.64%
4. Ulster 14.44% Lockport (Nia.) 15.49% Pittsfield (Ots.) 2.93%
5. Saratoga 14.58% Mechanicville (Sar.) 16.04% Stratford (Ful.) 3.07%
6. Washington 14.75% Rye (Wes.) 16.36% Wayne (Ste.) 3.18%
7. Rockland 15.95% North Tonawanda (Nia.) 16.66% Bleecker (Ful.) 3.21%
8. Columbia 16.35% Saratoga Springs (Sar.) 17.65% Bolton (War.) 3.41%
9. Fulton

16.42%

Glen Cove (Nas.) 19.67% Hope (Ham.) 3.46%
10. Delaware 16.87% Port Jervis (Ora.) 22.14% Ohio (Her.) 3.55%

  

Table 3. Exemptions for county purposes: Counties ranked by percent of full value exempt, 2015 assessment rolls*
RankCountyNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Tompkins 7,184 4,543,975 39.58%
2. Seneca 5,320 1,189,690 37.15%
3. St Lawrence 13,640 3,304,324 37.12%
4. Niagara 21,666 5,894,341 36.37%
5. Cattaraugus 11,267 2,123,981 34.24%
6. Wyoming 6,935 1,108,547 33.78%
7. Oneida 25,549 5,366,709 33.37%
8. Lewis 5,366 968,701 32.35%
9. Albany 23,038 11,202,430 31.91%
10. Allegany 7,758 920,161 31.73%
11. Montgomery 6,696 995,470 31.17%
12. Clinton 9,909 2,018,247 29.64%
13. Jefferson 12,195 3,165,494 28.58%
14. Greene 5,406 2,186,873 28.31%
15. Rensselaer 14,668 3,942,825 27.97%
16. Broome 17,422 3,709,161 27.59%
17. Steuben 14,860 2,078,225 26.78%
18. Livingston 7,990 1,204,968 26.15%
19. Schoharie 5,384 789,952 25.95%
20. Onondaga 43,866 8,811,130 25.10%
21. Chautauqua 17,609 2,287,642 24.70%
22. Genesee 8,729 902,576 24.67%
23. Madison 8,817 1,230,057 23.58%
24. Tioga 5,534 789,231 23.52%
25. Yates 4,817 715,147 23.08%
26. Chemung 7,681 1,236,788 22.66%
27. Westchester 39,189 47,037,818 22.37%
28. Otsego 7,240 1,254,187 22.34%
29. Cayuga 10,714 1,323,337 22.30%
30. Erie 88,870 14,860,546 22.24%
31. Franklin 4,659 1,020,467 22.17%
32. Schenectady 12,853 2,643,470 22.10%
33. Cortland 5,474 645,925 21.97%
34. Ontario 11,529 2,367,700 21.59%
35. Dutchess 20,990 7,873,285 21.05%
36. Essex 6,070 1,631,804 20.61%
37. Nassau 76,499 55,790,011 20.53%
38. Wayne 10,589 1,225,339 20.37%
39. Suffolk 129,933 67,718,925 20.13%
40. Orleans 5,631 412,552 19.94%
41. Monroe 56,274 10,037,840 19.72%
42. Chenango 6,676 581,456 19.67%
43. Sullivan 9,506 1,812,228 19.52%
44. Oswego 12,059 1,684,242 19.24%
45. Orange 25,937 7,103,363 19.08%
46. Herkimer 7,071 1,023,762 19.03%
47. Schuyler 3,244 303,643 18.35%
48. Delaware 5,441 1,164,522 16.87%
49. Fulton 5,966 626,029 16.42%
50. Columbia 8,528 1,414,460 16.35%
51. Rockland 17,849 6,774,703 15.95%
52. Washington 8,931 817,747 14.75%
53. Saratoga 15,783 3,977,153 14.58%
54. Ulster 16,415 2,990,894 14.44%
55. Warren 7,323 1,329,689 11.30%
56. Putnam 7,213 1,655,238 11.03%
57. Hamilton 991 254,320 8.50%
*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, 2015 assessment rolls
RankCityNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Rensselaer 677 8,966,313 67.06%
2. Salamanca 1,441 177,648 64.26%
3. Albany 6,726 7,114,996 61.07%
4. Ithaca 853 2,539,921 60.06%
5. Geneva 979 558,161 59.55%
6. Ogdensburg 1,195 391,742 59.04%
7. Dunkirk 1,318 402,153 54.00%
8. Syracuse 8,443 4,893,798 52.02%
9. Oneonta 559 486,015 51.66%
10. Peekskill 961 1,651,943 49.95%
11. Niagara Falls 4,911 1,305,861 46.23%
12. Troy 2,599 1,492,923 45.89%
13. Little Falls 404 128,723 45.20%
14. Watervliet 545 299,931 43.64%
15. Rome 3,517 827,201 43.49%
16. Newburgh 1,093 568,016 39.26%
17. Schenectady 4,597 1,132,209 37.62%
18. Jamestown 2,460 395,429 37.55%
19. Oswego 1,239 439,364 37.11%
20. Yonkers 7,012 9,065,596 36.56%
21. Cortland 981 307,180 36.43%
22. Norwich 451 124,757 36.23%
23. Elmira 1,828 389,709 36.08%
24. Buffalo 21,745 4,155,147 35.62%
25. Utica 5,050 843,010 35.57%
26. Plattsburgh 1,310 500,864 34.90%
27. Hudson 568 203,159 34.29%
28. Auburn 2,249 514,331 34.15%
29. White Plains 1,539 4,296,577 33.92%
30. Binghamton 3,049 753,926 33.86%
31. Hornell 820 117,474 33.64%
32. Olean 1,272 261,199 33.39%
33. Watertown 1,814 569,699 32.57%
34. New York City 836,090 397,444,304 31.33%
35. Canandaigua 675 307,499 30.94%
36. Johnstown 745 195,046 30.47%
37. Cohoes 1,111 317,443 30.07%
38. Rochester 11,371 2,546,434 29.85%
39. Poughkeepsie 1,291 684,274 29.82%
40. Amsterdam 1,396 181,672 29.11%
41. Batavia 1,340 222,933 28.77%
42. Oneida 1,121 180,418 27.91%
43. New Rochelle 2,288 3,362,311 27.50%
44. Gloversville 1,222 134,125 26.78%
45. Glens Falls 1,146 343,086 25.66%
46. Beacon 810 338,380 24.54%
47. Fulton 991 105,777 24.53%
48. Lackawanna 2,001 174,132 245.51%
49. Corning 1,010 202,193 24.41%
50. Mt Vernon 1,597 1,522,756 24.37%
51. Kingston 1,519 437,350 24.13%
52. Middletown 1,162 354,288 22.44%
53. Port Jervis 645 103,994 22.14%
54. Glen Cove 714 889,713 19.67%
55. Saratoga Springs 1,496 864,141 17.65%
56. North Tonawanda 3,650 261,674 16.66%
57. Rye 586 1,603,442 16.36%
58. Mechanicville 276 38,065 16.04%
59. Lockport 1,426 129,184 15.49%
60. Tonawanda 1,805 111,241 15.06%
61. Sherrill 57 24,691 12.45%
62. Long Beach 1,294 568,605 11.04%


Table 5. Exemptions for county purposes: Towns with over 50 percent full value exempt, 2015 assessment rolls
RankTownNo. of exemptionsExempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Clinton 245 315,003 87.82%
2. Harrisburg 245 230,210 87.51%
3. Ashford 362 874,375 87.13%
4. Alfred 313 361,094 79.20%
5. Martinsburg 444 316,192 79.12%
6. Somerset 414 504,079 78.04%
7. Romulus 435 558,801 77.88%
8. Blenheim 141 111,937 74.92%
9. Athens 526 1,321,361 73.45%
10. Eagle 384 166,425 73.13%
11. Marcy 689 1,154,560 72.60%
12. Greenwood 275 135,804 71.95%
13. Wethersfield 313 125,084 71.57%
14. Verona 969 695,272 68.86%
15. Massena 1,276 1,188,893 68.52%
16. Le Ray 782 1,080,630 68.07%
17. Lewiston 1,496 2,411,085 68.01%
18. Chateaugay 332 164,510 67.01%
19. Orangeville 341 165,044 64.32%
20. Altona 380 178,366 63.05%
21. Ellenburg 426 189,052 62.21%
22. Florida 488 334,240 61.65%
23. Cohocton 672 165,483 59.33%
24. Jasper 383 90,908 56.73%
25. Eaton 663 270,377 56.42%
26. Sheldon 557 197,827 55.60%
27. Fairfield 335 102,282 52.54%
28. Hamilton 572 280,308 50.97%
29. Delhi 357 346,749 50.91%
30. Groveland 333 137,676 50.74%
31. Waddington 390 138,298 50.56%

 

Table 6. Geographic areas with highest and lowest incidence of
local-option exempt value, 2015 assessment rolls
A. Ten with highest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*
1. Lewis 50.07% Johnstown (Ful.) 40.86% Harrisburg (Lew.) 95.62%
2. Fulton 20.58% Saratoga Springs (Sar.) 27.14% Martinsburg (Lew.) 88.57%
3. Hamilton 19.81% Cohoes (Alb.) 23.16% Fenner (Mad.) 65.04%
4. Wayne 19.40% Lackawanna (Eri.) 20.61% Ontario (Way.) 63.56%
5. Nassau 16.30% Sherrill (One.) 18.38% Shelter Island (Suf.) 50.17%
6. Columbia 14.91% Auburn (Cay.) 18.27% Madison (Mad.) 45.54%
7. Warren 13.85% Long Beach (Nas.) 17.80% Lake Pleasant (Ham.) 43.04%
8. Washington 13.79% Glen Cove (Nas.) 16.60% Chautauqua (Cha.) 40.88%
9. Monroe 13.34% North Tonawanda (Nia.) 14.91% Herkimer (Her.) 36.59%
10. Saratoga 13.28% Hudson (Col.) 14.62% Rhinebeck (Dut.) 35.50%
B. Ten with lowest incidence
RankCountiesCitiesTowns
NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*NamePct. local-option*
1. Tompkins 3.23% Ithaca (Tom.) 1.22% Red House (Cat.) 0.22%
2. Allegany 4.48% Little Falls (Her.) 2.19% Clinton (Cli.) 0.33%
3. Delaware 4.51% White Plains (Wes.) 2.48% Alfred (All.) 0.57%
4. Wyoming 4.71% Geneva (Ont.) 2.81%

 Ashford (Cat.)

0.64%
5. St Lawrence 5.28% Rensselaer (Ren.) 3.05% Blenheim (Sch.) 0.67%
6. Cattaraugus 5.40% Albany (Alb.) 3.11% Romulus (Sen.) 0.75%
7. Niagara 5.57% Peekskill (Wes.) 3.14% Delhi (Del.) 0.88%
8. Yates 5.85% Elmira (Che.) 4.11% Norway (Her.) 1.00%
9. Montgomery 5.88% Ogdensburg (St. L) 4.21% Eagle (Wyo.) 1.13%
10. Chemung 6.05% Dunkirk (Cha.) 4.43% Florida (Mon.) 1.15%
*Exempt value of local-option exemptions divided by total exe%mpt value.


Table 7. Exempt value attributable to local option, counties ranked by percent of exempt value, 2015 assessment rolls
RankCountyExempt value local option ($000)Total exempt value ($000)Pct. of value exempt
1. Lewis 629,682 1,257,497 50.07%
2. Fulton 241,958 1,175,819 20.58%
3. Hamilton 66,417 335,345 19.81%
4. Wayne 429,486 2,214,285 19.40%
5. Nassau 14,508,371 88,982,316 16.30%
6. Columbia 299,899 2,011,257 14.91%
7. Warren 280,113 2,022,641 13.85%
8. Washington 200,404 1,453,406 13.79%
9. Monroe 2,179,198 16,340,103 13.34%
10. Saratoga 920,512 6,929,394 13.28%
11. Rockland 1,436,597 11,312,697 12.70%
12. Putnam 402,897 3,199,354 12.59%
13. Herkimer 209,070 1,668,812 12.53%
14. Ulster 581,251 4,662,972 12.47%
15. Erie 2,850,608 23,254,828 12.26%
16. Onondaga 1,547,186 12,797,888 12.09%
17. Madison 231,277 1,923,647 12.02%
18. Broome 668,028 5,561,364 12.01%
19. Suffolk 10,821,560 90,298,601 11.98%
20. Orleans 96,683 822,614 11.75%
21. Cayuga 244,861 2,092,964 11.70%
22. Rensselaer 618,049 5,293,340 11.68%
23. Schenectady 472,514 4,054,399 11.65%
24. Dutchess 1,205,777 11,100,876 10.86%
25. Orange 1,053,955 10,578,477 9.96%
26. Chautauqua 344,229 3,578,569 9.62%
27. Essex 187,724 2,032,906 9.23%
28. Oswego 253,382 2,807,339 9.03%
29. Cortland 94,887 1,071,235 8.86%
30. Jefferson 321,358 4,004,415 8.03%
31. Livingston 141,199 1,801,112 7.84%
32. Sullivan 188,429 2,418,493 7.79%
33. Genesee 113,944 1,489,923 7.65%
34. Albany 1,041,828 13,662,304 7.63%
35. Clinton 206,244 2,733,577 7.54%
36. Ontario 264,007 3,499,727 7.54%
37. Oneida 549,113 7,539,130 7.28%
38. Otsego 133,611 1,858,354 7.19%
39. Chenango 76,572 1,073,522 7.13%
40. Tioga 91,228 1,333,986 6.84%
41. Steuben 205,989 3,089,395 6.67%
42. Westchester 4,357,208 65,814,292 6.62%
43. Franklin 93,018 1,532,450 6.37%
44. Seneca 96,104 1,532,450 6.27%
45. Greene 172,933 2,764,992 6.25%
46. Schoharie 69,303 1,130,760 6.13%
47. Schuyler 30,917 508,533 6.08%
48. Chemung 125,886 2,079,233 6.05%
49. Montgomery 86,560 1,472,214 5.88%
50. Yates 56,643 968,527 5.85%
51. Niagara 454,353 8,153,043 5.57%
52. Cattaraugus 156,325 2,897,063 5.40%
53. St Lawrence 229,524 4,347,405 5.28%
54. Wyoming 71,784 1,524,669 4.71%
55. Delaware 78,865 1,705,219 4.51%
56. Allegany 62,047 1,386,509 4.48%
57. Tompkins 169,003 5,235,953 3.23%

 

Table 8. City/Town distribution of exempt value attributable to local option exemptions: 2015 assessment rolls
Percent of value in local option exemptionsNumber of cities/townsPercent of cities/towns
0 - 9.99 575 57.847%
10 - 19.99 365 36.720%
20 - 29.99 37 3.722%
30 - 39.99 8 0.805%
40 or more 9 0.905%

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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