The firm successfully restored tax exemptions and obtained tax refunds for The Fort Ticonderoga Association, a not-for-profit corporation. This groundbreaking decision has important implications for New York not-for-profits and municipalities in determining whether the criteria for exemptions under the New York Real Property Tax Law have been satisfied.
As a not-for-profit education corporation, the Association owns numerous parcels of property in the Town of Ticonderoga that are exempt from taxation pursuant to New York Real Property Tax Law §420-a. That law provides tax exempt status to property used for educational purposes. In 2012, the Town of Ticonderoga revoked the exemptions for seven of the Association’s parcels, arguing that the parcels were not used exclusively for educational purposes.
The Supreme Court, Essex County, Hon. Thomas Buchanan, J.S.C. found that Young/Sommer successfully met the Fort’s burden, and the Assessor had no basis to revoke the exemptions. The Court found that the evidence submitted by the Fort established that the uses were reasonably incidental to the Association’s primary educational purpose. The Town was ordered: (1) to restore the Association’s tax exemptions, and (2) to refund taxes paid in 2012 and 2013 with interest.