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RPTL 458-a

§ 458-a. Veterans; alternative exemption.

    1. The following terms whenever used or referred to in this section shall have the following
meanings unless a different meaning clearly appears in the context: 
         (a) "Period of war" means the Spanish-American war; the Mexican border
period; World War I; World War II; the hostilities, known as the Korean
war, which commenced June twenty-seventh, nineteen hundred fifty and
terminated on January thirty-first, nineteen hundred fifty-five; the
hostilities, known as the Vietnam war, which commenced February
twenty-eighth, nineteen hundred sixty-one and terminated on May seventh,
nineteen hundred seventy-five; and the hostilities, known as the Persian
Gulf conflict, which commenced August second, nineteen hundred ninety. 
         (b) "Service connected" means, with respect to disability or death,
that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death
resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in
the active military, naval or air service. 
         (c) "Qualified owner" means a veteran, the spouse of a veteran or the
unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran. Where property is owned by
more than one qualified owner, the exemption to which each is entitled
may be combined. Where a veteran is also the unremarried surviving
spouse of a veteran, such person may also receive any exemption to which
the deceased spouse was entitled. 
         (d) "Qualifying residential real property" means property owned by a
qualified owner which is used exclusively for residential purposes;
provided however, that in the event any portion of such property is not
so used exclusively for residential purposes but is used for other
purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining
portion only shall be entitled to the exemption provided by this
section. Such property must be the primary residence of the veteran or
unremarried surviving spouse of the veteran, unless the veteran or
unremarried surviving spouse is absent from the property due to medical
reasons or institutionalization. In the event the veteran dies and there
is no unremarried surviving spouse, "qualifying residential real
property" shall mean the primary residence owned by a qualified owner
prior to death, provided that the title to the property becomes vested
in the dependent father or mother or dependent child or children under
twenty-one years of age of a veteran by virtue of devise by or descent
from the deceased qualified owner, provided that the property is the
primary residence of one or all of the devisees. 
         (e) "Veteran" means a person (i) who served in the active military,
naval, or air service during a period of war, or who was a recipient of
the armed forces expeditionary medal, navy expeditionary medal, marine
corps expeditionary medal, or global war on terrorism expeditionary
medal, and who was discharged or released therefrom under honorable
conditions, (ii) who was employed by the War Shipping Administration or
Office of Defense Transportation or their agents as a merchant seaman
documented by the United States Coast Guard or Department of Commerce,
or as a civil servant employed by the United States Army Transport
Service (later redesignated as the United States Army Transportation
Corps, Water Division) or the Naval Transportation Service; and who
served satisfactorily as a crew member during the period of armed
conflict, December seventh, nineteen hundred forty-one, to August
fifteenth, nineteen hundred forty-five, aboard merchant vessels in
oceangoing, i.e., foreign, intercoastal, or coastwise service as such
terms are defined under federal law (46 USCA 10301 & 10501) and further
to include "near foreign" voyages between the United States and Canada,
Mexico, or the West Indies via ocean routes, or public vessels in
oceangoing service or foreign waters and who has received a Certificate
of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and a discharge certificate, or
an Honorable Service Certificate/Report of Casualty, from the department
of defense, (iii) who served as a United States civilian employed by the
American Field Service and served overseas under United States Armies
and United States Army Groups in world war II during the period of armed
conflict, December seventh, nineteen hundred forty-one through May
eighth, nineteen hundred forty-five, and who was discharged or released
therefrom under honorable conditions, (iv) who served as a United States
civilian Flight Crew and Aviation Ground Support Employee of Pan
American World Airways or one of its subsidiaries or its affiliates and
served overseas as a result of Pan American's contract with Air
Transport Command or Naval Air Transport Service during the period of
armed conflict, December fourteenth, nineteen hundred forty-one through
August fourteenth, nineteen hundred forty-five, and who was discharged
or released therefrom under honorable conditions, or (v) notwithstanding
any other provision of law to the contrary, who are members of the
reserve components of the armed forces of the United States who received
an honorable discharge or release therefrom under honorable conditions,
but are still members of the reserve components of the armed forces of
the United States provided that such members meet all other
qualifications under the provisions of this section. 
         (f) "Latest state equalization rate" means the latest final state
equalization rate or special equalization rate established by the state
board pursuant to article twelve of this chapter. The state board shall
establish a special equalization rate if it finds that there has been a
material change in the level of assessment since the establishment of
the latest state equalization rate, but in no event shall such special
equalization rate exceed one hundred. In the event that the state
equalization rate exceeds one hundred, then the state equalization rate
shall be one hundred for the purposes of this section. Where a special
equalization rate is established for purposes of this section, the
assessor is directed and authorized to recompute the alternative
veterans exemption on the assessment roll by applying such special
equalization rate instead of the latest state equalization rate applied
in the previous year and to make the appropriate corrections on the
assessment roll, notwithstanding the fact that such assessor may receive
the special equalization rate after the completion, verification and
filing of such final assessment roll. In the event that the assessor
does not have custody of the roll when such recomputation is
accomplished, the assessor shall certify such recomputation to the local
officers having custody and control of such roll, and such local
officers are hereby directed and authorized to enter the recomputed
alternative veterans exemption certified by the assessor on such roll. 
         (g) "Latest class ratio" means the latest final class ratio
established by the state board pursuant to title one of article twelve
of this chapter for use in a special assessing unit as defined in
section eighteen hundred one of this chapter. 
     2. (a) Qualifying residential real property shall be exempt from
taxation to the extent of fifteen percent of the assessed value of such
property; provided, however, that such exemption shall not exceed twelve
thousand dollars or the product of twelve thousand dollars multiplied by
the latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit, or in the
case of a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is
less. 
         (b) In addition to the exemption provided by paragraph (a) of this
subdivision, where the veteran served in a combat theatre or combat zone
of operations, as documented by the award of a United States campaign
ribbon or service medal, or the armed forces expeditionary medal, navy
expeditionary medal, marine corps expeditionary medal, or global war on
terrorism expeditionary medal, qualifying residential real property also
shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of ten percent of the
assessed value of such property; provided, however, that such exemption
shall not exceed eight thousand dollars or the product of eight thousand
dollars multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the
assessing unit, or in the case of a special assessing unit, the class
ratio, whichever is less. 
         (c) In addition to the exemptions provided by paragraphs (a) and (b)
of this subdivision, where the veteran received a compensation rating
from the United States veteran's administration or from the United
States department of defense because of a service connected disability,
qualifying residential real property shall be exempt from taxation to
the extent of the product of the assessed value of such property
multiplied by fifty percent of the veteran's disability rating;
provided, however, that such exemption shall not exceed forty thousand
dollars or the product of forty thousand dollars multiplied by the
latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit, or in the case of
a special assessing unit, the latest class ratio, whichever is less. For
purposes of this paragraph, where a person who served in the active
military, naval or air service during a period of war died in service of
a service connected disability, such person shall be deemed to have been
assigned a compensation rating of one hundred percent. 
         (d) Limitations. (i) The exemption from taxation provided by this
subdivision shall be applicable to county, city, town and village
taxation, but shall not be applicable to taxes levied for school
purposes. 
             (ii) Each county, city, town or village may adopt a local law to
reduce the maximum exemption allowable in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of
this subdivision to nine thousand dollars, six thousand dollars and
thirty thousand dollars, respectively, or six thousand dollars, four
thousand dollars and twenty thousand dollars, respectively. Each county,
city, town, or village is also authorized to adopt a local law to
increase the maximum exemption allowable in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c)
of this subdivision to fifteen thousand dollars, ten thousand dollars
and fifty thousand dollars, respectively; eighteen thousand dollars,
twelve thousand dollars and sixty thousand dollars, respectively;
twenty-one thousand dollars, fourteen thousand dollars, and seventy
thousand dollars, respectively; twenty-four thousand dollars, sixteen
thousand dollars, and eighty thousand dollars, respectively;
twenty-seven thousand dollars, eighteen thousand dollars, and ninety
thousand dollars, respectively; thirty thousand dollars, twenty thousand
dollars, and one hundred thousand dollars, respectively; thirty-three
thousand dollars, twenty-two thousand dollars, and one hundred ten
thousand dollars, respectively; thirty-six thousand dollars, twenty-four
thousand dollars, and one hundred twenty thousand dollars, respectively.
In addition, a county, city, town or village which is a
"high-appreciation municipality" as defined in this subparagraph is
authorized to adopt a local law to increase the maximum exemption
allowable in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this subdivision to
thirty-nine thousand dollars, twenty-six thousand dollars, and one
hundred thirty thousand dollars, respectively; forty-two thousand
dollars, twenty-eight thousand dollars, and one hundred forty thousand
dollars, respectively; forty-five thousand dollars, thirty thousand
dollars and one hundred fifty thousand dollars, respectively;
forty-eight thousand dollars, thirty-two thousand dollars and one
hundred sixty thousand dollars, respectively; fifty-one thousand
dollars, thirty-four thousand dollars and one hundred seventy thousand
dollars, respectively; fifty-four thousand dollars, thirty-six thousand
dollars and one hundred eighty thousand dollars, respectively. For
purposes of this subparagraph, a "high-appreciation municipality" means:
(A) a special assessing unit that is a city, (B) a county for which the
state board has established a sales price differential factor for
purposes of the STAR exemption authorized by section four hundred
twenty-five of this title in three consecutive years, and (C) a city,
town or village which is wholly or partly located within such a county. 
     3. Application for exemption must be made by the owner, or all of the
owners, of the property on a form prescribed by the state board. The
owner or owners shall file the completed form in the assessor's office
on or before the appropriate taxable status date. The exemption shall
continue in full force and effect for all appropriate subsequent tax
years and the owner or owners of the property shall not be required to
refile each year. Applicants shall be required to refile on or before
the appropriate taxable status date if the percentage of disability
percentage increases or decreases or may refile if other changes have
occurred which affect qualification for an increased or decreased amount
of exemption. Any applicant convicted of making any willful false
statement in the application for such exemption shall be subject to the
penalties prescribed in the penal law. 
     3-a. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any other
provision of law, in a city having a population of one million or more,
applications for the exemption authorized pursuant to this section shall
be considered timely filed if they are filed on or before the fifteenth
day of March of the appropriate year. 
     4. (a) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, no
later than ninety days before the taxable status date next occurring on
or after the thirty-first day of December nineteen hundred eighty-four,
the governing board of any county, city, town or village may adopt a
local law to provide that no exemption shall be granted pursuant to this
section for the purposes of taxes levied for such county, city, town or
village. For the purposes of a county which is not an assessing unit,
the taxable status date next occurring on or after December
thirty-first, nineteen hundred eighty-four shall mean the first such
taxable status date of any city or town within such county upon the
assessment roll of which the county levies taxes. A local law adopted
pursuant to this paragraph may be repealed by the governing board of the
applicable county, city, town or village. Such repeal must occur at
least ninety days prior to the taxable status date of such county, city,
town or village. 
     5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the
provisions of this section shall apply to any real property held in
trust solely for the benefit of a person or persons who would otherwise
be eligible for a real property tax exemption, pursuant to this section,
were such person or persons the owner or owners of such real property. 
     6. (a) For the purposes of this section, title to that portion of real
property owned by a cooperative apartment corporation in which a
tenant-stockholder of such corporation resides and which is represented
by his share or shares of stock in such corporation as determined by its
or their proportional relationship to the total outstanding stock of the
corporation, including that owned by the corporation, shall be deemed to
be vested in such tenant-stockholder. 
         (b) Provided that all other eligibility criteria of this section are
met, that proportion of the assessment of such real property owned by a
cooperative apartment corporation determined by the relationship of such
real property vested in such tenant-stockholder to such real property
owned by such cooperative apartment corporation in which such
tenant-stockholder resides shall be subject to exemption from taxation
pursuant to this section and any exemption so granted shall be credited
by the appropriate taxing authority against the assessed valuation of
such real property; the reduction in real property taxes realized
thereby shall be credited by the cooperative apartment corporation
against the amount of such taxes otherwise payable by or chargeable to
such tenant-stockholder. 
         (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this subdivision, a
tenant-stockholder who resides in a dwelling that is subject to the
provisions of either article two, four, five or eleven of the private
housing finance law shall not be eligible for an exemption pursuant to
this section. 
         (d) Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this subdivision, real property
owned by a cooperative corporation may be exempt from taxation pursuant
to this section by a municipality in which such property is located only
if the governing body of such municipality, after public hearing, adopts
a local law, ordinance or resolution providing therefor. 
     7. (a) As used in this subdivision, "Gold Star Parent" shall mean the
parent of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the
United States armed forces during a period of war. 
         (b) A county, city, town, or village may adopt a local law to include
a Gold Star Parent within the definition of "qualified owner", as
provided in paragraph (c) of subdivision one of this section, and to
include property owned by a Gold Star Parent within the definition of
"qualifying residential real property" as provided in paragraph (d) of
subdivision one of this section, provided that such property shall be
the primary residence of the Gold Star Parent. 
         (c) The additional exemption provided for in paragraph (c) of
subdivision two of this section shall not apply to real property owned
by a Gold Star Parent. 
     8. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (c) of subdivision one
of this section and subdivision three of this section, the governing
body of any municipality may, after public hearing, adopt a local law,
ordinance or resolution providing that where a veteran, the spouse of
the veteran or unremarried surviving spouse already receiving an
exemption pursuant to this section sells the property receiving the
exemption and purchases property within the same city, town or village,
the assessor shall transfer and prorate, for the remainder of the fiscal
year, the exemption received. The prorated exemption shall be based upon
the date the veteran, the spouse of the veteran or unremarried surviving
spouse obtains title to the new property and shall be calculated by
multiplying the tax rate or rates for each municipal corporation which
levied taxes, or for which taxes were levied, on the appropriate tax
roll used for the fiscal year or years during which the transfer
occurred times the previously granted exempt amount times the fraction
of each fiscal year or years remaining subsequent to the transfer of
title. Nothing in this section shall be construed to remove the
requirement that any such veteran, the spouse of the veteran or
unremarried surviving spouse transferring an exemption pursuant to this
subdivision shall reapply for the exemption authorized pursuant to this
section on or before the following taxable status date, in the event
such veteran, the spouse of the veteran or unremarried surviving spouse
wishes to receive the exemption in future fiscal years.

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