The New York State legislature recently amended state law to create an Alternative Veterans Exemption which gives school districts the option to exempt from school tax the residential property of certain veterans. The legislature declined to exempt veterans from income or other state taxes or make a statewide exemption for such things as religious or government property. Unlike certain other tax breaks such as STAR (School Tax Assessment Relief), the state would not reimburse school districts for the taxes local veterans would not pay. Instead, local taxpayers who are not veterans would be assessed the difference. The exemption, once adopted, cannot be reversed by a subsequent Board.
After careful consideration, the BH-BL board of education decided at its public Finance committee meeting on Feb. 2, 2015 to not adopt the Alternative Veterans Exemption for property taxes.
“The board of education joins all district residents in our sincere appreciation to veterans for their service to our country,” said Board President James Maughan, “But we’ve decided that dividing residents by veteran status into taxpayers and non-taxpayers may not be the best way to express that support, or in the best long-term interest of the district.”
In accordance with state law, BH-BL does offer two tax exemptions to any resident who may be in need, regardless of veteran status: the senior citizens exemption and the disabilities exemption.