Cuomo signs another veterans' tax exemption

by Brian Fessler

On Board Online • November 20, 2017

By Brian Fessler
Deputy Director of Governmental Relations

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in late October to extend the "eligible funds" veterans' property tax exemption to school taxes.

This is the third school property tax exemption for veterans signed into law in the past four years. The alternative veterans' tax exemption was approved in 2013 and the Cold War veterans' tax exemption was enacted last year.

The legislation, now chapter 376 of the Laws of 2017, allows eligible veterans to exempt a portion of property purchased with a pension, bonus or insurance funds related to their service. Previously, the eligible funds exemption could only apply to county, city, town and village property taxes.

In order for this exemption to be available to taxpayers within a school district, the school board must approve a resolution doing so. However, that authority rests with the school board, and they are not required to grant the exemption if they feel it is not in the best interest of their district and community.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. David Carlucci, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference from the lower Hudson Valley, and Assembly Member Michael Cusick, a Democrat from Staten Island.

NYSSBA asked the sponsors to amend the bill to require the state to reimburse school districts for the value of the exemption in order to prevent a shift of the tax burden to those in the community not receiving the exemption. In the absence of such an amendment, NYSSBA informed the governor of the Association's opposition to the bill.

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