Rockland County, NY
 
[Adopted 10-4-1966 by L.L. No. 2-1966]

§ 355-9 Legislative intent.

The purpose of this article is to grant a partial exemption from taxation to the extent of 50% of the assessed valuation of real property which is owned by certain persons with limited income who are 65 years of age or over, meeting the requirements set forth in § 467 of the Real Property Tax Law.

§ 355-10 Exemption granted; percentage; conditions; application; penalties; death of spouse.

[Last amended 1-16-1990 by L.L. No. 2-1990]
A. 
All real property owned by one or more persons, each of whom is 65 years of age or over, or real property owned by a husband or wife, one of whom is 65 years or older, shall be exempt from taxation, as defined in the Real Property Tax Law, by the County of Rockland to the extent set forth herein. Any person otherwise qualifying under this section shall not be denied an exemption if he becomes 65 years of age after the taxable status date and before December 31 of the same year.
B. 
Percentage of real property taxation exemption permitted. The County of Rockland, for assessment rolls prepared on the basis of the taxable status date occurring on or after the effective dates listed herein, provides the following partial exemptions from real property taxation, as set forth in the following schedule:
[Last amended 12-5-2006 by L.L. No. 14-2006]
(1) 
Effective January 1, 2007.
Annual Income of Applicant or Applicants Percentage of Assessed Valuation Exempt from Taxation
$26,000 or less 50%
More than $26,000 but but less than $27,000 45%
More than $27,000 but less than $28,000 40%
More than $28,000 but less than $29,000 35%
More than $29,000 but less than $29,900 30%
More than $29,900 but less than $30,800 25%
More than $30,800 but less than $31,700 20%
More than $31,700 but less than $32,600 15%
More than $32,600 but less than $33,500 10%
More than $33,500 but less than $34,400 5%
(2) 
Effective January 1, 2008.
Annual Income of Applicant or Applicants Percentage of Assessed Valuation Exempt from Taxation
$27,000 or less 50%
More than $27,000 but less than $28,000 45%
More than $28,000 but less than $29,000 40%
More than $29,000 but less than $30,000 35%
More than $30,000 but less than $30,900 30%
More than $30,900 but less than $31,800 25%
More than $31,800 but less than $32,700 20%
More than $32,700 but less than $33,600 15%
More than $33,600 but less than $34,500 10%
More than $34,500 but less than $35,400 5%
(3) 
Effective January 1, 2009.
Annual Income of Applicant or Applicants Percentage of Assessed Valuation Exempt from Taxation
$28,000 or less 50%
More than $28,000 but less than $29,000 45%
More than $29,000 but less than $30,000 40%
More than $30,000 but less than $31,000 35%
More than $31,000 but less than $31,900 30%
More than $31,900 but less than $32,800 25%
More than $32,800 but less than $33,700 20%
More than $33,700 but less than $34,600 15%
More than $34,600 but less than $35,500 10%
More than $35,500 but less than $36,400 5%
(4) 
Effective January 1, 2010.
Annual Income of Applicant or Applicants Percentage of Assessed Valuation Exempt from Taxation
$29,000 or less 50%
More than $29,000 but less than $30,000 45%
More than $30,000 but less than $31,000 40%
More than $31,000 but less than $32,000 35%
More than $32,000 but less than $32,900 30%
More than $32,900 but less than $33,800 25%
More than $33,800 but less than $34,700 20%
More than $34,700 but less than $35,600 15%
More than $35,600 but less than $36,500 10%
More than $36,500 but less than $37,400 5%
C. 
No exemption shall be granted under the provisions of this article if the income of the owner or combined income of the owners of the property for the income tax year immediately preceding the date of making application exceeds the sum of the maximum income exemption eligibility level for the granting of a partial exemption from real property taxation as provided in the Real Property Tax Law plus an amount not to exceed $8,400 consistent with the schedule provided in Subsection B hereof. "Income tax year" shall mean the twelve-month period for which the owner or owners filed a federal personal income tax return or, if no such return was filed, the calendar year. Where title is vested in either the husband or the wife, their combined income may not exceed such sum. Such income shall include social security and retirement benefits, interest, dividends, total gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset, which may be offset by a loss from the sale or exchange of a capital asset in the same income tax year, net rental income, salary or earnings and net income from self-employment, but shall not include a return of capital, gifts or inheritances, payments made to individuals because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution, as defined in P.L. 103-286, veterans disability compensation as defined in Title 38 of the United States Code or monies earned through employment in the Federal Foster Grandparent Program, and any such income shall be offset by all medical and prescription-drug expenses actually paid which were not reimbursed or paid for by insurance. In computing net rental income and net income from self-employment, no depreciation deduction shall be allowed for the exhaustion, wear and tear of real or personal property held for the production of income. All of the terms and conditions set forth in Real Property Tax Law § 467 in order to obtain a senior citizen tax exemption are incorporated by reference and shall take precedence over any inconsistent provision contained herein.
[Last amended 11-8-2000 by L.L. No. 11-2000]
D. 
Title to the property considered for the exemption shall have been vested in the owner or owners of the property for at least 24 consecutive months prior to making application.
(1) 
In the event of the death of either a husband or wife in whose name title was vested at the time of death and which husband or wife becomes vested solely by virtue of devise or descent from the deceased husband or wife, the survivor shall add the time of ownership by the deceased husband or wife to the time of ownership by the survivor so that the ownership period is continuous.
(2) 
A transfer by the husband or wife to the other of all or part of the title shall be deemed a continuous period of ownership by the transferee to comply with the 24 consecutive months.
(3) 
Where property of the owner or owners has been acquired to replace property formerly owned by the owner or owners and taken by eminent domain or other involuntary proceedings except a tax sale, the period of ownership of the former property shall be combined with the period of ownership of the property for which application is made and shall be considered consecutive in computing the 24 months.
(4) 
Where a residence is sold and replaced within one year and is in the same assessing unit or municipality or where both residences are within the state, the period of ownership of the former shall be combined with the replacement and deemed consecutive for the exemption application.
(5) 
The property must be used exclusively for residential purposes and be the legal residence of and be occupied in whole or part by the owner or all the owners of the property.
E. 
Application.
(1) 
The owner or all the owners of the property must obtain application forms prescribed by the State Board from the Tax Assessor of the various towns in Rockland County. Said forms shall be filed with the appropriate Tax Assessor's office on or before the appropriate taxable status date.
(2) 
At least 60 days prior to the appropriate taxable status date, the appropriate Tax Assessor shall mail to each person previously granted an exemption, in accordance with the latest completed assessment roll, an application form and notice that such application must be filed on or before the taxable status date and be approved in order for the exemption to be granted.
(3) 
If the applicant provides two self-addressed, prepaid envelopes, the Assessor shall not only acknowledge receipt of the application but shall, within three days after completion and filing of the tentative assessment roll, notify the applicant of the approval or denial of the application.
(4) 
If the applicant is entitled to a notice of denial, the form shall be on that prescribed by the State Board and shall state the reason for such denial. The applicant may have the determination reviewed in the manner provided by law.
(5) 
Neither the County of Rockland nor the appropriate Town Assessor shall be penalized for failure to mail the application form or notice or for the failure of any such person to receive the application form or notice.
(6) 
Any person who has been granted an exemption pursuant to this article on five consecutive completed assessment rolls shall not be subject to the application requirements set forth above and shall be automatically granted an exemption pursuant to this article on such subsequent assessment roll; provided, however, that when tax payment is made by such person, a sworn affidavit must be included with such payment which shall state that such person continues to be eligible for such exemption. If such affidavit is not included with the tax payment, the collecting officer shall proceed pursuant to § 551-a of the Real Property Tax Law.
F. 
False statements; penalty.
(1) 
Any willful false statement on the application for exemption shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 and by the applicant or applicants being disqualified from any exemption for a period of five years.
(2) 
The County of Rockland, on any amount of taxes erroneously exempted as a result of an incorrect statement in an application, may collect the same in the same manner provided for the collection of delinquent taxes pursuant to Article 10 of the Real Property Tax Law.
G. 
The real property tax exemption on real property owned by husband and wife, one of whom is 65 years of age or over, once granted, shall not be rescinded by any assessing authority solely because of the death of the older spouse so long as the surviving spouse is at least 62 years of age.