In 1984, the New York Legislature amended the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) and enacted a new, at that time, alternative veterans’ exemption. The original alternative veterans’ exemption provided each county, city, town, and village the choice of whether to grant the exemption, providing a reduction in taxes for veterans. (For a list of information resources about the Veterans’ Exemption, visit the District website www.pawlingschools.org.) In December 2013, the Legislature amended the RPTL providing local school districts the option of also allowing a partial property tax exemption for military veterans.
The Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption is limited to the veterans’ primary residence, and school districts are allowed to offer the non-cumulative reduction in assessed value subject to the maximum levels of exemption as follows: 15% exemption for wartime service, 25% exemption for combat zone service, up to 50% exemption for service-connected disability.
Implementing the alternative veterans’ exemption would result in a redistribution of taxes among taxpayers who do not qualify for the exemption. Exemptions do not affect the tax levy—the total amount of money a district needs to raise. If a community’s assessed property value decreases due to exemptions, then all other taxpayers need to make up the difference resulting from exemptions.
The Pawling Board of Education did not vote on the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption last spring due to the late passage and signing of the legislation. Rather, the Board decided to delay the vote to gather more information and to solicit the opinions of all taxpayers affected by the decision. For a taxpayer survey on this topic, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JNRK6WJ to take the survey. A Board vote on the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption is scheduled for January.
Additional information on the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption Law may be obtained from the following website: http://www.tax.ny.gov/research/propert/assess/manuals/vol14/pt1/sec4_01/...
Assistant Superintendent for Finance Dr. Neysa Sensenig’s presentation to the Board of Education on the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption may be found on the district’s website.