Veterans who live in any of Valley Stream’s three elementary school districts will see some relief on their tax bills in the future after the three school boards passed the Veterans’ Tax Exemption last week.
In the past, veterans living in New York were eligible for state, county, town and village tax exemptions, but in December the State Legislature passed a law giving school boards the same option. District 30 approved the exemption on Feb. 24, followed by District 13 on Feb. 25 and District 24 on Feb. 26.
Now the assessed value of veterans’ homes will be reduced thanks to the exemption, which means they will pay less in school taxes.
The exemption has three categories, each with its own range of money by which the assessed value of veteran’s home is reduced: wartime veteran in a non-combat zone (up to $12,000), wartime veteran in a combat zone (up to $20,000) and wartime veteran in a combat zone who now has a disability (up to $60,000). Districts 24 and 30 passed the exemption at the maximum amounts, while District 13 will use half of those amounts. The approvals were unanimous in Districts 13 and 30, while Trustee Tony Iadevaio cast a lone “no” vote in District 24.
The approvals at the elementary level will automatically extend the exemption for high school district taxes as well.
Nearly 1,300 residents in the three districts are designated as veterans and are eligible for the exemption, which will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year. Since they will be paying less, other residents will pay more in the future. The average District 13 homeowner will pay an additional $20 per year, while District 24 residents will pay an average of $34 more a year, and those in District 30, $26 more.
“It’s well deserved for our veterans who have defended our country,” said Ron Feltington, a Marine veteran and a member of Valley Stream American Legion Post 854.
“This was something to show a token of appreciation to the veterans. I think that meant more than the actual dollar amount that’s going to be exempted from their school taxes.”