News & Press: Press Releases

Results Released for Survey on Veterans Real Property Tax Law Exemption

Tuesday, October 7, 2014  

Over 75 percent of respondents indicated that their board of education and school district HAVE NOT adopted a resolution to provide the veterans exemptions authorized by Chapter 518 of the Laws of 2013.

Of districts that did not act to provide the veterans’ exemption authorized by Chapter 518 of the Laws of 2013, reasons included: public opposition (one percent), administrative decision not to pursue (26 percent) and ‘Other’ (73 percent). For those 122 school districts that gave ‘Other’ as the reason, the following explanations were offered:

58 Not enough time to decide, scheduled for future discussion
29 Need more information or clarification
21 Concerns about tax burden on non-veterans
7 Board decided not to pursue at this time
7 Other

Reasons including

  1. Law does not allow the District to amend the exemption once it is adopted. We want that option. (2 responses)
  2. Tax exemptions already in place provide enough tax relief'
  3. Concern about a shifting of burden from one taxpayer to another.
  4. Data on the impact of the exemption has been presented to the BoE, but they have not pushed to have it added to the agenda for a formal vote. At the moment they are content to let the issue sit. (2 responses)
  5. Public and board reaction was split 50-50.
  6. Calculated effect on tax rate would add another 2 percent to tax rate increase of 4.49 percent. Concerned budget would get voted down. May pursue for next year as Property Tax Freeze rebate could soften the blow to local taxpayers.

Please note the laws of 2014 amended the law to allow school districts to revoke or amend the exemption once it is adopted, which is responsive to two of these comments.

Click here to view results.

Over 220 respondents answered the following questions:

  1. Has your board of education and school district adopted a resolution to provide the veterans exemptions authorized by Chapter 518 of the Laws of 2013?
  2. If you answered no to question 1, what was the reason your board of education and school district did not approve a resolution on the veterans exemptions authorized by Chapter 518 of the Laws of 2013?
  3. If your board of education and school district adopted a resolution to provide the real property tax exemptions provided by Chapter 518 of the laws of 2013, has your board of education and school district subsequently opted to discontinue such exemptions?

Background

Chapter 518 of the Laws of 2013 amended Real Property Tax Law section 458-a to allow qualified veterans of active military duty, the spouse of a veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran to receive up to three possible exemptions from real property taxes. In the case of school districts, the exemptions are allowed provided the governing body, after public hearings, adopts a resolution providing for such exemptions. Section 458-A also authorized the taxing jurisdiction to reduce or increase the maximum allowable exemptions by adopting a local law. The law further provides for a taxing jurisdiction to opt out of the exemptions after having provided the exemptions.