The Second Department determined the California nonprofit corporation which places international students with families in the United State was entitled to tax exempt status with respect to real estate purchased in the Town of Islip, New York. However, with respect to a building on the property, the exempt status would apply only to those portions of the building used by the corporation and would not apply to portions leased for other purposes:
Under RPTL 420-a, even when the property owner is shown to have an exempt purpose, the owner must still demonstrate that the property is used exclusively for that exempt purpose … . Within the context of § 420-a, whether the property is being used exclusively for statutory exempt purposes depends on whether the primary use of the property is in furtherance of permitted purposes … .
Here, it is undisputed that the petitioner uses the property as its headquarters, in furtherance of its exempt purpose. However, the property is improved with a two-story office building measuring more than 17,700 square feet, and there are no record facts as to what portion of the building is actually used by the petitioner in furtherance of its purpose … . In addition, the petitioner indicated on its application that it plans to lease 2,500 square feet of the property to a tenant. RPTL 420-a(2) provides that “[i]f any portion of such real property is not so used exclusively to carry out thereupon one or more of such purposes but is leased or otherwise used for other purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be exempt,” unless the tenant and its use of the property is also exempt from taxation. Therefore issues of fact exist as to whether the petitioner is entitled to a full or partial tax exemption for the property for the tax year 2018/2019. Matter of International Student Exch., Inc. v Assessors Off. of the Town of Islip, 2020 NY Slip Op 03911, Second Dept 7-15-20