Volume 2 - Opinions of Counsel SBEA No. 57
Aged exemption (ownership requirement) (legal residence) - Real Property Tax Law, § 467(3)(d):
The property on which the exemption is claimed must be the legal residence of the applicant. The applicant has the burden of proving to the assessor that the property which is the subject of his application is his legal residence.
Our opinion has been requested as to the eligibility of a property owner who spends four months of the year in State X, three months in State Y, and the remaining five months at a residence in a locality in New York State.
Section 467 requires that the property on which an exemption is claimed under that section must be the legal residence of the applicant. A person can have only one legal residence. If a person lives part of the year in one house and part of the year in another, only one of the dwellings can be his legal residence. Which dwelling is his legal residence depends upon such facts as where he votes, the length of time spent in each place, the nature and amount of personal property in each place, and other conduct and behavior evidencing which he considers to be his permanent home. In such situation it is incumbent upon the person applying for the exemption to demonstrate to the assessor that the property which is the subject of his application is his legal residence.
April 14, 1972