On August 8, 2022, the Governor signed a bill amending Real Property Tax Law 467(3)(a), “increasing the amount of income property owners may earn for the purpose of eligibility for the property tax exemption for persons sixty-five years of age or over and for persons with disabilities and limited income.”[i] This bill “allows municipalities to increase the maximum income eligible for New York’s real property tax exemption to $50,000 for people age 65 and over and people with disabilities. Before today, the maximum income eligible was $29,000 per year outside of New York City for seniors and people with disabilities.”[ii]
According to the bill, “New York State has a growing number of low-income seniors on fixed incomes and persons with disabilities who have limited income who are faced with ever increasing property taxes making it difficult for them to continue to live in and maintain their own homes.”[iii] The bill was designed to lessen the burden of increasing property taxes and “allowing local governments the option to raise the maximum income eligibility limit for the Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Exemption program and the Persons with Disabilities Real Property Tax Exemption.”[iv]
“Under the new legislation, qualifying senior citizens and persons living with disabilities will be eligible to receive up to a 50% reduction on their assessment.…”[v] “This reduction is reflected in county, town, and school taxes. A reduction of 50% is the maximum allowed exemption and requires an annual household income of $50,000 or less to qualify.”[vi] There is a sliding scale based upon the annual household income.[vii]
To date, at least one local municipality, the Town of Hempstead, has indicated that it intends to opt-in to the legislation as soon as possible.[viii] There are certain requirements to obtain this tax exemption, including that “all owners of the property must be 65 years of age or older, or if owned by husband and wife, one must be 65 years of age or older. The applicant must own the property and have owned the property for at least 12 consecutive months, or have owned a previous residence in New York State for one year prior to filing for this exemption.”[ix] Generally, in order to obtain such an exemption, a senior citizen must file an application each year.[x]
If you have any question concerning your property taxes, please feel free to contact Christopher E. Vatter, Esq. or Andrew M. Mahony, Esq. at (516) 746-8000.