Vets Exemption Hearing Tonight

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Mineola School Board President Artie Barnett
Mineola School Board President Artie Barnett

The Mineola School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

The exemption provides three tiers of tax breaks based on whether or not residents are a veteran, saw combat or suffered a disability. It’s possible to qualify for all three.

“It’s for comments from the public on that specific topic, yea or nay,” District Superintendent Michael Nagler said. “There will two action items on the agenda about the vets exemption.”

Any impact to school taxes as a result of the tax break, would need to be picked up by non-veteran taxpayers. As a result, residents who are ineligible for this tax exemption, will need to pay more per household.

“We have to have a hearing as required by law,” School Board President Artie Barnett said. “We have been waiting for a section of the law to be fixed, which excluded school districts from the ability to rescind or revisit it. We did have assurances it would be done during the last [state] legislative session. It was not.”

On Dec. 18, 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law allowing local school districts to extend tax exemptions to U.S. military veterans and some families. Each district was required to pass a resolution to opt in.

The state deadline to enact the exemption for 2015-16 is Jan 2, 2015.

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