There are two categories of exemption, mandatory and permissive. Mandatory exemptions must be granted by local assessors to qualified applicants without need of a local law or school district resolution. Permissive exemptions must first be enacted locally before an assessor may grant them. All persons or corporations entitled to exemption must provide proof on a form prescribed by the State Board of Real Property Services.
The following summary explains permissive exemptions, and which taxing jurisdictions in Dutchess County offer them. Please refer to these tables for specific details with regard to each municipality in Dutchess County:
Business Investment Exemption Local Options (.pdf)
Disabled Persons With Limited Incomes Exemption Local Options (.pdf)
Cold War Veterans Exemption Local Options (.pdf)
Seniors Exemption Local Options (.pdf)
Veterans Exemption Local Options (.pdf)
Exemptions Subject to Local Option
Agricultural Ceiling Values for Fire, Ambulance and Special Districts. [AG and MRKTS §305/306] This exemption allows through local resolution, application of agricultural ceilings for fire, ambulance and other special ad valorem districts for agricultural properties outside of an established agricultural district. This benefit is provided by law to properties inside agricultural districts. Not enacted by any town in Dutchess County.
Agricultural Historic Barns. [RPTL §483-b] This local option exempts increases in assessments resulting from renovations or reconstructions of existing, pre 1936 barns, provided they are not used for residential purposes, that were originally designed for agricultural use, and the original design was not materially altered. Increases in taxable value would be 100% exempt in the first year and reduced by 10% each year thereafter for the next nine years. This exemption has not been authorized by Dutchess County, nor any school districts, nor municipalities within Dutchess.
Commercial Horse Boarding. [AG and MRKTS 305] - (1994) Allows income from horse boarding to be included as agricultural income by itself or in conjunction with other agricultural operations. Dutchess County adopted this option through resolution #89 of 1995. It is binding on all municipalities and school districts.
Residential-Commercial Urban Exemption. [RPTL §485-a] Where a non-residential property is converted to a commercial and residential mixed-use property the increased value due to the conversion is exempt for 12 years according to a declining scale. The minimum cost of the conversion is $10,000, but the locality may choose a higher minimum. The county and/or school district may opt in only after the municipality does, and only for that municipality. Currently only The City of Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie City Schools, and Dutchess County for parcels within the City of Poughkeepsie, have opted in to this exemption. (2012)
Business Investment. [RPTL §485-b]. This local option allows partial exemption for certain business improvements to the extent of 50% of the increase of assessed valuation resulting from such improvement. The exemption runs 10 years with a 5% decrease in exemption each year. The initial percentage of exemption may be modified by local option. The minimum cost of the improvement is $10,000. Taxing jurisdictions may choose a higher minimum cost. This exemption will not apply to fire district taxes for exemptions granted after Jan 1, 1998. The Village of Wappinger allows this exemption.
Business Investment-Industrial and Commercial Investment Board. (ICIB) [RPTL §485-b (9)]. Effective June 25, 1998, this local option allows a municipality or school district to create an advisory board to make recommendations concerning various methods of implementing 485-b as well as make recommendations on how to improve the economic climate. In 1996, Dutchess County, the Town of Red Hook and the Red Hook CSD created ICIBs. Please refer to Business Investment Exemption Local Options (.pdf) for individual details for each municipality. Please refer to local laws for standard industrial/commercial codes allowed.
Infrastructure Exemption. [RPTL §485-g]. This local option would provide for a three-year exemption on infrastructure value assigned to building lots in a subdivision where such infrastructure would be conveyed to a municipality or special district upon completion of the subdivision.
Empire Zones. [RPTL §485-e] - (July, 1994, 2000). This ten - year exemption allows a 100% of increased assessments resulting from improvements to qualified property within the zone for seven years. At year seven, the exemption diminishes 25% each year until the exemption is no longer in effect. In addition, a variety of tax credits also exist. Additional income tax credits based on increased employment can effectively reduce a participant’s property tax exposure to zero. Empire Zones exist in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie, the Town of East Fishkill and the City of Beacon (2002). The ten-year clock starts with the start of the project in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie, all other municipalities, including Dutchess County, run from the creation of the district.
Converted Condominiums. [RPTL §581, RPL §339-y] - (1998). Allows municipalities or school districts to adopt a local law or resolution that allows converted condominium units to be assessed at their full market value. This would apply only to condominiums converted after such local law was adopted.
Physically Disabled. [RPTL§459] Partial exemption is allowed to the extent improvements to residential property for handicapped accessibility add to an assessment. This option is valid in the towns of Clinton (1999), Milan, Pawling, and the Village of Pawling.
Improvements to Property Pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act. [RPTL §459-a] (1995). Allows a sliding scale exemption to the extent that an assessment may be increased due to improvements made in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The duration of the exemption is ten years. Wappingers Central Schools allows this exemption.
Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes. [RPTL §459-C ] (1998). This allows a partial real property tax exemption to seriously disabled persons that is similar to the exemption [RPTL §467] afforded to senior citizens. A parcel may not have both this exemption and the Senior's exemption for the same tax purpose. Persons seeking exemption must prove the disability along strict application criteria. Disabilities as the result of substance abuse are disallowed. 2006 legislation allows for income ceilings of $26,000 for 2006, $27,000 for 2007, $28,000 for 2008 and $29,000 for 2009. These are increases in the allowable ceiling, which must be specifically acted upon by the taxing jurisdiction. They are not "escalators." For details on this option, please refer to Disabled Persons With Limited Incomes Exemption Local Options (.pdf). Dutchess County has opted in to this exemption for the 2013 Assessment Rolls, (January 2014 Tax Rolls).
For more information see the NYS ORPS pamphlet Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes Exemption.
Historic Property. [RPTL §444-A] - (1997). Assessment increases due to rehabilitation or alterations of “landmark” or “property contributing to the character of a historic district" would be 100% exempt for five years and the exemption phased out in 20% increments over the next five years. The alteration or rehabilitation must be in compliance with local historic preservation laws. City of Beacon and City of Poughkeepsie, (1998)
First Time Homebuyers. [RPTL §457] – (2001). Allows municipalities and school districts to offer a 5-year partial real property exemption to first time homeowners for new construction or reconstruction of residences. Not adopted by any municipality or school district in Dutchess County.
Non Profit Corporations
Property of Non Profit Organizations Wholly Exempt Under Permissive Guidelines. [RPTL§420-B]. Allows municipalities to select certain nonprofit uses to exclude from exemption. All nonprofit uses are allowed exemption throughout the county.
Persons Over 65 (Seniors)
Income Ceiling for Persons Over 65. [RPTL §467-1(a)] This allows municipalities to set income ceilings at which seniors receive a 50% exemption. 2006 legislation allows for income ceilings of $26,000 for 2006, $27,000 for 2007, $28,000 for 2008 and $29,000 for 2009. These are increases in the allowable ceiling, which must be specifically acted upon by the taxing jurisdiction. They are not "escalators." A parcel may not have both this exemption and an exemption under RPTL §459 for the same tax purpose.
Income Sliding Scale Option for Persons over 65. [RPTL §467-1(b)]. This option allows an exemption for Seniors with higher incomes, but at reduced percentages. The scale runs from 45% to 20% in increments of 5%. RPTL 467(2) allows additional percentages of 15% and 10%, and RPTL §467(3) allows the municipalities or schools to grant exemptions down to 5% at a maximum income of $32,400.
Exclusion of Medical and Prescription Drug Expenses. [RPTL §467(3)(a)] -(1996). This local option allows income to be offset by the cost of prescription drugs and medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Exclusion of Veteran's Disability Compensation. [RPTL §467(3)(a)] -(1997). This local option would allow the exclusion of veteran’s disability compensation from the calculation of a senior's income.
Option to Extend Minimum Age to 65 by December 31 in the Year of Application [RPTL§ 467(5)] - (1989). Allows seniors who are 64 on taxable status date to be eligible for the exemption if they are 65 by Dec. 31.
Option to Allow Filing of Exemptions for Persons Over 65 by “Grievance Day.” [RPTL§ 467(5a)] - (1994). Allows a filing extension to seniors who by reason of family death or illness are unable to file on taxable status date.
Option to Accept Exemption Renewals of Persons over 65 after Taxable Status Date. [RPTL§ 467-8]. Allows seniors who have previously filed exemptions until “Grievance Day” to file a renewal application.
Option to Allow Senior Exemption when a School Age Child Attends Public School. [RPTL§ 467(2)] - (2001). Allows school districts to grant exemptions for seniors who have children residing with them who attend public school.
See Seniors Exemption Local Options (.pdf) for details on which options have been adopted by the municipalities in Dutchess County.
More information on seniors exemptions can be obtained in NYS ORPTS' pamphlet: Senior Citizens' Exemption Q & A.
Parents and Grandparents
Assessment Exemption for Living Quarters for Parent or Grandparent (RPTL §469) - (2000). Allows a local option to exempt increased assessments (up to 20% of total assessed value) for those who construct living quarters for their parents or grandparents who are over age 62. No known approvals on this yet.
Solar Energy. [RPTL §487] - (1978, 1990, 2006, 2010) Allows partial exemption to the extent of increased assessed valuation for certain solar energy improvements for a period of 15 years. The improvements must have been constructed between January 1, 1991, and January 1, 2015, and must meet guidelines established by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
This exemption is allowed unless a municipality or school district acts to opt out. Neither Dutchess County nor any city, town, or school district within the county has opted out..
Important note regarding Veteran's Exemptions. An individual is entitled to exemption under only one of the following laws: RPTL §458 (Eligible Funds) or RPTL §458-A (Alternative) or RPTL §458-B (Cold War.) Please see your local assessor for details. Information is also available from NYS Tax and Finance here.
Veterans Alternative Exemption [RPTL §458-A] (1984).
Honorably discharged Veterans who served during specified times of war, or who received an expeditionary medal, may receive a 15% exemption on their assessment for municipal purposes. Those who served in a combat zone may receive an additional 10% (25% total) exemption. Those with a service-related disability may receive an exemption equal to ½ of their disability rating. This is in addition to the 10% or 25% exemption. Veterans who's disability rating increases or decreases must refile, informing the assessor of the change in their disability rating.
These exemptions are subject to a statutory maximum, or ceiling. The allowable maximums are defined in law and are chosen by the taxing jurisdiction.
Once a municipality begins granting Alternative Veterans exemptions, it may no longer grant new Eligible Funds Veterans exemptions.
More information on this exemption, defined times of war, and allowable maximums can be found on the NYS ORPTS website at:
Also, Veterans Exemption Local Options (.pdf) details current maximums allowed in Dutchess County.
Cooperative Apartments - [RPTL §458-A(6)(d)] This option allows the municipality to grant the exemption to veterans who's primary residence is a unit in a cooperative apartment.
Gold Star Parents - [RPTL §458-A(7)] - (2000). This local option allows the parents of veterans, who died in the line of duty during a period of war, to receive the benefits of Section 458-A. This excludes the additional exemption for service connected disability. The towns of East Fishkill and Poughkeepsie, and the cities of Beacon and Poughkeepsie have adopted this option.
Transfer of Exemption to a Newly Purchased Residence - [RPTL §458-A(8)] This local option allows a veteran to transfer their §458-A exemption to a new primary residence within the same city, town or village after taxable status date. They must have sold the residence originally exempted and purchased another within the same municipality. The exemption will be prorated based on the date the veteran obtains title to the new property. The veteran must reapply for the exemption on their new residence.
School Districts - [RPTL §458-A(2)(d)(ii)] - (2013) A school district may adopt a resolution allowing the Alternative Veterans exemption for school taxes. Unlike counties, towns, and villages, school districts may opt to rescind this exemption after allowing it.
Cold War Veterans - [RPTL §458-B] (2007) Allows a Town, City, Village, or County to adopt a local law exempting 10% or 15% of a qualified veteran's primary residence. To qualify, veterans must have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard during the period from 9/2/45 - 12/26/91. The exemption has a ten-year sunset. The ten-year period begins when the municipality adopts the exemption or the year that a veteran first purchases qualifying property, whichever is later.
Those with a service-related disability may receive an exemption equal to ½ of their disability rating. This is in addition to the 10% or 15% exemption. If the veteran's disability rating changes, he or she must refile and inform the assessor of the change.
These exemptions are subject to a statutory maximum, or ceiling. The allowable maximums are defined in law and are chosen by the taxing jurisdiction. The ceilings are not the same as those for the Alternative Veterans exemptions. See Local Cold War Veterans Options for current maximums allowed in Dutchess County.
Repeal- [RPTL §458-B(5)] Unlike the exemptions under RPTL 458-A, a municipality granting these exemptions may repeal their local law adopting this exemption.
Cooperative Apartments - [RPTL §458-B(7)(d)] This option allows the municipality to grant the exemption to veterans who's primary residence is a unit in a cooperative apartment.
More information on this exemption, dates of eligible service, and allowable maximum exemptions can be found on the NYS ORPTS website at:
Veteran's Eligible Funds - Post Revaluation "Pro-rata" [RPTL §458(5)-a)]. Enactment of this local option in a revaluation year continues a veteran's eligible funds exemption at the same percentage of total assessed value it was prior to the revaluation. Repealed in 1994, only municipalities who granted this exemption prior to that date may continue to allow it. The towns of Pawling and Pleasant Valley allow this exemption.
Veteran's Eligible Funds - Post Revaluation "Change In Level" [RPTL §458(5)-a)] (1994). Where a veteran once held a RPTL §458 exemption, but due to a revaluation, opted for the alternative §458-a exemption, adoption of this option would allow the veteran to reapply under the original exemption and have the exemption computed using the cumulative Change in Level of Assessment factors that have been certified since the revaluation where the exemption change originally occurred. The City of Poughkeepsie and the Town of North East allow this exemption.
Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Workers
Volunteer Firemen and Fire Companies in Villages [RPTL §466] Allows a village to grant a $500 exemption to a volunteer member of a village fire department. By further local option, the exemption may be extended to the unremarried spouse of a volunteer member of a village fire department killed in the line of duty. This exemption applies to village taxes only.
Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Workers [RPTL §466-C ] - (2002). Allows Dutchess County and its municipalities - but not school districts - to enact local laws that would allow volunteer firemen and ambulance workers a 10% assessment reduction, not to exceed $3,000 multiplied by the latest equalization rate. The City of Beacon and the towns of Clinton, East Fishkill, Milan, Red Hook, Stanford, and Wappinger currently allow the exemption. The Village of Tivoli allows the exemption for village taxes.
A municipality allowing the exemption may also act to allow persons with a certified 20 years of service to receive the exemption for the remainder of their life.
Unremarried Spouses of Deceased Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Workers [RPTL §466-H] - (2006) Beginning in 2007, this option allows a municipality that grants exemptions under RPTL §466-C to continue to allow an exemption, or reinstate a previous exemption, held by a deceased volunteer's unremarried surviving spouse. The deceased volunteer must have been enrolled in the volunteer fire or ambulance company for at least 20 years, and must have been granted the exemption prior to their death.