Board of Education votes not to offer Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption
Dec. 13, 2016
The Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education voted 6-1 at their regular meeting not to offer the New York State Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption (AVE), a partial school tax exemption on the primary residence of eligible military veterans residing within the school district.
On Nov. 30, the Board of Education held an informational meeting for all district residents about the veterans exemption. On Dec. 6, the board held an advisory vote to measure the community's level of support for the exemption, with residents casting 276 no ballots and 269 yes ballots.
The state first authorized the AVE in 1984 for municipal property taxes. Gov. Cuomo signed a law in 2013 to permit school districts as well to offer the exemption, but leaves that decision up to individual school boards. The state does not provide revenue to offset the savings for veterans.
Before their vote, board members noted their support of legislation introduced in the state Assembly and Senate that would have the state fund the AVE.
Under the AVE, the tax levy (total amount of taxes) collected from all residents by the school district does not change, causing a shift in taxes. Veterans applying for the exemption would have their school taxes lowered, while non-veterans and those not applying for the AVE would experience an increase. The size of the increase varies based on a property owner's assessment.