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District to offer Alternative Veterans Exemption

Updated Sept. 9, 2014—Guilderland Central School District will be offering a new partial tax exemption to local veterans beginning in the 2014-15 school year under a resolution passed last February  by the Board of Education.

In the past, the so-called Alternative Veterans Exemption only applied to county, town and village taxes. But under a new state law signed in December by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, school districts across New York were given the ability to authorize the same partial property tax exemptions for military veterans. The state left it up to school boards whether or not to adopt resolutions to provide the exemptions for school taxes as well.

“Our district has a long history of supporting our military, and this is one more way we can thank them for their service to our country," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles.

Veterans who served during war time, in a combat zone or have a service related disability have long been able to receive a break on their county and municipal taxes via a partial tax exemption on their property, a practice put into law in 1984.

Under the new veteran tax exemption law, school districts would be allowed to offer up to a 15 percent reduction in assessed value for veterans who served during a time of war (up to a maximum of $12,000), plus 10 percent for those who served in combat zones (up to a maximum of $8,000). Veterans could also receive a reduction based on their service-connected disabilities (up to a maximum of $40,000). The town equalization rate will be applied to the exemption amount when computing tax bills.

For example, a resident of the Town of Guilderland (which currently has a 92% equalization rate) that served during wartime and who qualifies for the maximum exemption of $12,000 would receive a property exemption of $11,040 ($12,000 x 0.92). View current rates for each town

Implementing a tax exemption causes a redistribution of taxes among taxpayers, or a tax shift. Exemptions do not affect the total amount of money a district needs to raise – the tax levy. Therefore, if a town’s assessed value decreases due to exemptions, then all taxpayers would need to pay more to make up the difference. The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value would increase for all taxpayers to generate the same amount of taxes (i.e., the tax levy).

In Guilderland, where the Board of Education adopted the basic exemption level for veterans from among multiple level choices, taxpayers will see an increase in their tax bills of about $0.09 per $1,000 of assessed full value in the coming year as a result.

Veterans with already approved exemptions on file with their local municipality do not need to reapply for a school tax exemption. However, new exemption applications must be filed with the town assessor by March 1, 2014 for September 2014 school tax bills and January 2015 town/city/village tax bills. Please contact your local town assessor for questions about eligibility and applications.

 

Additional information about the Alternative Veterans Exemption

Who is eligible for the exemption?
    • Honorable discharge from service;
    • Active Duty status during wartime (Persian Gulf Conflict, Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II) for dates specified in law;
    • Veterans receiving Expeditionary Medals or who qualify under the alternatives to “period of war” service may also qualify;
    • Generally, reservists are not eligible;
    • Certain family members of veterans may be eligible; and
    • Criteria is service-based, not income-based like some other exemptions

More facts about the Alternative Veterans' Exemption:
   
• First enacted in 1984 for municipalities.
    • Only municipalities were allowed to offer the exemption -- the law was amended on December 18, 2013 to permit school districts to offer the exemption.
    • Limited to primary residence.
    • Equalization rates will apply to exemption amounts.
    • Based on a percentage of assessed value subject to maximum levels of exemption:
            o 15% exemption for wartime service
            o 25% exemption for combat zone service
            o Up to 50% exemption for service-connected disability
    • Veterans must have honorable discharge for service to qualify.
    • Certain family members of veterans may be eligible.
    • Tax exemptions cause a redistribution of taxes among taxpayers.
    • Veterans with already approved exemptions on file with the town/city/county do not need to reapply for the school tax exemption.
    • New exemption applications must be filed with the town assessor by March 1, 2014 for September 2014 school tax bills and January 2015 for town/city/village tax bills.

 

Copyright 2013, Capital Region BOCES School Communications Portfolio; All rights reserved. For more information or permission to use, call 518-464-3960.

 

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