During its January 26 meeting, the LaFayette Central School District Board of Education approved a property tax exemption for district residents who are Cold War veterans.
Authorized by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August, the tax exemption is offered to veterans who served in active duty (excluding active duty training) in the United States Armed Forces between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991, and were discharged or released under honorable conditions.
The exemption will take effect for the 2017-18 school tax year and will remain in effect for subsequent school tax years. It applies only to residential property (or the residential portion of a property) that is the primary residence of the Cold War veteran, or the surviving spouse of the Cold War veteran (who has not remarried), unless either is absent from the property due to medical reasons or institutionalization.
The qualifying property is exempt from taxation to the extent of 10 percent of its assessed value, provided the exemption does not exceed the lesser of $30,000, or $30,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the applicable town within LaFayette Central School District.
An additional benefit is available to disabled veterans equal to 50 percent of their service-connected disability, up to $20,000.
There is a 10-year time limit for the exemption, although no time limit is imposed for the additional benefit due to disability.
The Cold War veteran’s exemption is not automatic. Eligible veterans should verify that an application is on file with the town assessor or complete the required application form and submit it to the assessor by the March 1 deadline. Application forms are available from the assessor’s office and on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website.
In 2015, the LaFayette Board of Education authorized an Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption for veterans who served during a period of war, veterans who served in a combat zone, disabled veterans and Gold Star Parents.
An individual is not eligible to participate in a Cold War Veterans’ Exemption and an Alternative Veterans’ Exemption simultaneously, but can switch from one to another, if applicable.
For more information about the Cold War Veteran’s Exemption, please visit the New York State Dept. of Taxation and Finance website.