Advocacy Update: Governor Signs Cold War Veterans Tax Exemption
August 30, 2016
On August 19th, Governor Cuomo signed a bill authorizing school districts to grant the Cold War veterans property tax exemption to eligible taxpayers within their school district. NYSSBA opposed this bill in its final form and sought a veto. However, this exemption is now available in addition to the “alternative veterans exemption” approved in 2013.
Like the alternative exemption, this exemption is offered at district option, after adoption of a board resolution. The new law provides no funding or reimbursement from the state for those districts who offer the exemption. Throughout the year, NYSSBA aggressively pushed legislators and the Governor’s office to amend the proposal to make the state fiscally responsible for subsidizing exemptions they initiate.
NYSSBA’s letter to the Governor on this legislation and memo on property tax exemptions can be read below:
ESSA Implementation and Comments Continue
Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act has continued over the summer months. NYSSBA is working with the State Education Department as a part of their ESSA Think Tank, helping to ensure that the voice of school boards is represented in the development of the State’s accountability plan. In addition, NYSSBA has provided two recent comments to the U.S. Education Department on proposed federal regulations. NYSSBA’s comments can be read below:
Recently, NYSSBA sent a letter to the State Education Department regarding proposed amendments to the Commissioner’s Regulations relating to School Safety Plans and Fire and Emergency Drills. The letter offers comments and recommendations following the inclusion of various school safety provisions in the 2016-17 enacted state budget. NYSSBA’s letter to NYSED regarding school safety can be read below:
Property Tax Cap
At the end of the 2015 legislative session, a new law was enacted that empowered the Department of Taxation and Finance to adopt regulations that would allow for the inclusion of BOCES capital costs in a school district’s capital exemption and include properties that make PILOT payments in the calculation of the cap’s tax base growth factor.
Since enactment no regulations have been adopted. The NYSSBA Governmental Relations team has worked throughout the last year to see these changes enacted either through additional legislation or through regulations, as the 2015 law contemplated.
Earlier this month, NYSSBA sent a follow-up letter to the Department of Taxation and Finance again urging them to implement the changes to the property tax cap authorized by the legislature and Governor in 2015 and asking for an update on the department’s work in determining whether or not to adopt these regulations. We will continue to push for adoption of these regulations throughout the fall.
NYSSBA’s Governmental Relations team will continue to update you on these and other issues.
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