[Adopted 3-8-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
This article is authorized pursuant to Real Property Tax Law § 459-c.
The purpose of this article is to provide real property tax exemptions to disabled persons with limited incomes owning real property in the Town of Tonawanda, New York, inclusive of the Village of Kenmore.
Effective as hereinafter provided, there shall be an exemption from taxation for general Town purposes to the extent of the percentage of assessed valuation provided in the following schedule, determined by the maximum income exemption eligibility level also provided in the following schedule up to a maximum of 50% of the assessed valuation of real property owned by one or more persons with disabilities, or real property owned by a husband, wife, or both, or by siblings, at least one of whom has a disability, and whose income, as hereinafter defined, is limited by reason of such disability:
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- INCOME TAX YEAR
- The twelve-month period for which the owner or owners flied a federal personal income tax return or, if no such return is flied, the calendar year.
- PERSON WITH DISABILITY
- One who has a physical or mental impairment, not due to current use of alcohol or illegal drug use, which substantially limits such person's ability to engage in one or more major life activities, such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working, and who:
- A. Is certified to receive social security disability insurance (SSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits under the Federal Social Security Act; or
- B. Is certified to receive railroad retirement disability benefits under the Federal Railroad Retirement Act; or
- C. Had received a certification from the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped stating that such person is legally blind.
- A brother or a sister, whether related through half blood, whole blood or adoption.
An award letter from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board or a certification from the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped shall be submitted as proof of disability.
Any exemption provided by this article shall be computed after all other exemptions allowed by law have been subtracted from the total amount assessed, provided that no parcel may receive an exemption for the same tax purpose pursuant to both this article and § 467 of the Real Property Tax Law.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the provisions of this article shall apply to 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 article.
No exemption shall be granted:
If the income of the owner or the combined income of the owners of the property for the income tax year immediately preceding the date of making application for exemption exceeds the sums stated in this article. Where title is vested in either the husband or wife, their combined income may not exceed such sum, except where the husband or wife or ex-husband or ex-wife is absent from the property due to divorce, legal separation or abandonment, then only the income of the spouse or ex-spouse residing on the property shall be considered and may not exceed such sum. Where title is vested in siblings, 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, inheritances or moneys earned through employment in the foster grandparent program. In computing net rental income and net income from self-employment, no depreciation deduction shall be allowed for the exhaustion or wear and tear of real or personal property held for tile production of income.
Unless the property is used exclusively for residential purposes; provided, however, that in the event that 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 article.
Unless the real property is the legal residence and is occupied, in whole or in part, by the disabled person; except where the disabled person is absent from the residence while receiving health-related care as an inpatient of a residential healthcare facility, as defined in § 2801 of the Public Health Law, provided that any income accruing to that person shall be considered income for purposes of this article only to the extent that it exceeds the amount paid by such person or spouse or sibling of such person for care in the facility.
Application for such exemption must be made annually by the owner or all of the owners of the property, on forms prescribed by the State Board, to be furnished by the Assessor' office, and shall furnish the information and be executed in the manner required or prescribed on such forms and shall be filed in the Assessor's office on or before the taxable status date (June 1); provided, however, that proof of a permanent disability need be submitted only in the year an exemption, pursuant to this article, is first sought or the disability is first determined to be permanent.
At least 60 days prior to the taxable status date, the Assessor shall mail to each person who was granted an exemption pursuant to this article on the latest completed assessment roll an application form and a notice that such application must be flied on or before the taxable status date and be approved in order for the exemption to continue to be granted. Failure to mail such application form or the failure of such person to receive the same shall not prevent the levy, collection and enforcement of the payment of the taxes on property owned by such person.