A long-standing feature of American tax policy is the exemption granted to nonprofit organizations, the largest of which is the exemption from local property taxes. The exemption, with origins back to the 18th century, is widespread. Among the 50 states, 17 state constitutions mandate property tax exemptions for charitable organizations, 25 authorize the legislature to give exemptions, and eight do not address the issue. New York State establishes two classes of exemptions for nonprofits: mandatory property tax exemptions apply to religious, educational, hospital, mental health and certain other charitable institutions; permissive exemptions are given to most other nonprofits, but localities may remove them. New York City has not passed any limiting local legislation.