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South Colonie Central School District News

Board of Education Finalizes Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption

The South Colonie Board of Education has voted in favor of offering a new Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption, a state program which allows local governments to exempt a portion of the property values of eligible veterans from property tax bills. The vote came following two public hearings this year.

These public hearings were prompted by requests from veterans and veteran organizations, which asked that the district to consider offering the exemption. Many local school districts are considering or have approved offering the same veterans exemption. The exemption, as shown below, also affect Gold Star parents, those parents who lost a child serving in the military.

View a presentation on the Veterans Exemption (pdf)

The state authorized the Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption, or AVE, in the mid-1980s for municipal government (counties, towns, etc.). In 2013, the state extended to school districts the option to offer the exemption. It is generally available to wartime veterans who served during eligible dates as specified in the law.

The state does not provide offsetting revenue to those districts that enact the exemption, so there will be some redistribution of taxes among existing district property owners.

For example, at the minimum exemption level, the owner of a house assessed at $150,000 in Colonie would have paid an estimated $17 more in taxes in the current year if the exemption had been in place. The chart below indicates the impact on the three towns in the district. The rates for the 2016-17 school year won't be determined until the summer.

IMPACT OF ALTERNATIVE VETERANS EXEMPTION ON SCHOOL TAX BILLS

TOWN Impact on a house assessed at $150,000
Colonie $17
Guilderland $13
Niskayuna $11

 

It is important to note that this new exemption does not impact the total amount of local taxes the district raises to support school programs, which is known as the tax levy. The exemption does not reduce district revenue and it does not factor into decision-making as the 2016-17 budget is developed in the coming weeks. The redistribution of the levy will take place when school tax bills are calculated later in the summer.

The law provides for a range of exemption levels from which local governments may choose. At each level, the value of the exemption is greater for those who served in combat or are disabled.

An eligible veteran residing in Colonie, and who served during wartime, would have saved an estimated $110 this year if the minimum exemption had been in place. The chart below indicates the estimated savings for eligible veterans in each of the three towns in the district.

 

SAVINGS FOR ELIGIBLE VETERANS

 

TOWN WARTIME COMBAT DISABLED
Exemption Amount $6,000 $10,000 + $20,000*
Colonie - $110 - $184 - $368
Guilderland - $110 - $184 - $368
Niskayuna - $103 - $172 - $344

*Disabled exemption savings are added to either the Wartime or Combat exemption, whichever is applicable. For example, a veteran with a Wartime and Disabled exemption in Colonie would save $478 total ($110 for Wartime and $368 for Disabled).

To receive the Veterans Exemption you must contact the town assessor's office in which you live, not the school district. If you already have a veterans exemption on file for your town taxes, you will automatically receive the school exemption.