Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, military veterans and Gold Star families will have to wait for their tax break until next year.
The Roslyn Board of Education recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans.
On December 18, Gov. 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. An email sent from Deputy Assessor Michele D. Wawrzynski to school administrators on January 8, obtained by Anton Community Newspapers, says “resolution must be transmitted to the Nassau County Department of Assessment no later than March 15th, 2014, to be effective for the 2014/15 school year.”
A letter from the county signed by Acting Assessor James E. Davis and sent on April 1, however, says that in fact January 2 was the deadline.
Although the letter acknowledges that all school districts seem to have been caught out, “To my office’s knowledge, all school districts throughout Nassau County passed resolutions … AFTER Jan. 2,” it does not acknowledge any role the assessor’s office may have played in such a widespread misunderstanding. The assessor’s office declined to speak on the record, but did email a copy of the April letter.
The veterans school tax bill offers three tiers of income exemption: $12,000 for all eligible recipients, with an additional $8,000 for all veterans who served in a “combat zone” and an additional $40,000 for all veterans who suffered a “service connected” disability. Exemptions would be available for residents whose children were killed while in military service (known as “Gold Star Parents”) as well. — With Chris Boyle