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The Board of Education unanimously approved a school tax exemption for Cold War veterans at its public meeting on Wednesday evening. The exemption will take effect for the 2017-18 school tax year.

The tax exemption, which was authorized by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August, is offered to veterans who served in active duty, other than training, in the Armed Forces between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 and were discharged or released under honorable conditions.

Qualifying property must be the primary residence of the Cold War veteran or 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 exemption may apply to mixed-use properties, but only for the portion owned and used as a primary residence.

The qualifying property is exempt from taxation to the extent of 15% of the assessed value up to $6,000. An additional benefit is available to disabled veterans equal to 50% 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.

Though authorized by the school district, the Cold War veteran’s exemption is not automatic. Eligible Cold War veterans should verify an application is on file with the assessor or complete the required application form and submit it to the assessor by the deadline. Application forms are available from the assessor’s office or on the NYS Tax Department website. Documentation of military service must be provided, (by Form DD214 or other document approved by the NYS Department of Tax and Finance) and property ownership (deed, mortgage or similar papers) will be required with the completed application. The deadline to file applications in most communities is March 1, but should be confirmed with the assessor.

The Board of Education approved an alternative veterans’ tax exemption in January 2015 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 for both a Cold War veterans’ exemption and an alternative veterans’ exemption at the same time.

Click here for more information about school tax exemptions.