What to Know Before You Apply

Use these guidelines to determine if your non-profit organization may be eligible for a property exemption:

  • Legal title for the parcel(s) for which exemption benefits are sought must be in the name of the applicant organization.
  • Your organization must belong to one or more of the exempt categories described in Sections 420-a or 420-b of the New York State Real Property Tax Law:
    • 420-a: Charitable, Educational, Hospital, Moral or Mental Improvement of Men, Women, or Children, or Religious
    • 420-b: Benevolent, Bible, Enforcement of Law Relating to Children or Animals, Historical, Infirmary, Library, Literary, Missionary, Patriotic, Public Playground, Scientific, Supervised Youth Sportsmanship, or Tract
  • Or one or more of the categories set forth in Sections 446, 452, and 462:
    • 446: Cemetery
    • 452: American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War
    • 462: Parsonage or Manse
  • The property for which an exemption is being sought must be used for the exemptible purposes of the organization. Portions of the property that have no exempt use and are not actively being contemplated for an exempt use, as well as those portions leased to a commercial, non-exempt organization are not eligible for a property tax exemption.
  • Unimproved land and/or vacant buildings may be eligible if supporting documentation of contemplated use or construction in progress is supplied. If an exemption is granted, then a new “Application for Exemption” must be filed once the construction/alteration is completed and the property is being used for an exempt purpose.
  • A property may be eligible if all or a portion of it is rented to a nonprofit that qualifies in its own right, as long as the tenant's rent does not exceed the maintenance, depreciation, and carrying costs of the property.
  • Properties transferred from a currently property tax-exempt nonprofit organization to another qualifying nonprofit organization will maintain continuous benefits. The new organization must submit an application in its own name immediately after the transfer.
  • Applicants will be notified and given a short period of time to correct incomplete applications.
  • Please be advised that DOF reviews all properties to determine if there are any immediately hazardous conditions. This includes Department of Buildings Class 1 violations, Stop-Work orders, and full or partial Vacate orders. If your property has any of these violations, DOF may deny your new or renewal application unless you are actively working to correct it.
  • In addition to this application, you may be required to supply additional information. We will notify you or the organization’s attorney, agent, or other contact person in such cases.