Allowing Nonprofits to Seek Property Tax Exemption Immediately Upon Acquisition of Real Property (Bill A.1288-Williams)

Bill A.1288-Williams would provide a real property tax exemption to nonprofit organizations—including houses of worship—that take title to real property after their municipality’s taxable status date.

At present, when a religious corporation, a not-for-profit corporation, or another type of nonprofit organization takes title to real property, that organization may not obtain an exemption from real property taxation until a significant amount of time has elapsed. For example, if a church purchases a parcel of real property on March 15 of a given year, and if the municipality in which the property is located has a taxable status date of March 1, that church cannot apply for a property tax exemption until the following year. Thus, existing law has the unfair result of causing nonprofit organizations that are entitled to exemptions from real property taxation to be liable for several months’ worth of property taxes immediately following their acquisition of real property.

The proposed legislation would allow nonprofit organizations that purchase real property after the taxable status date to obtain relief in the form of a prompt exemption from real property taxation. New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms supports this common-sense proposal and urges Members of the New York State Legislature to vote in favor of it.