Board of Education adopts tax exemptions for veterans

The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District Board of Education adopted the Alternative Veterans and Cold War tax exemptions at its monthly meeting on Monday, Nov. 19. The resolution gives eligible military veterans a partial property tax exemption on their school taxes for their primary residence. The resolution will take effect for the 2019-20 school tax bills.

Veterans with already-approved exemptions on file with their local municipality do not need to reapply for the school district tax exemption. However, obtaining a veterans’ exemption is not automatic – eligible veterans must submit the initial exemption application form to their assessor by March 1. Contact your local assessor to receive a form.

Whether or not the exemptions are offered in any given community is up to the local school board. School boards can vote whether or not to offer exemption as well as the level of exemption to offer.

The board of education asked for community feedback about the exemptions before considering the resolution. The district administered a community survey in May that was available as an exit survey during the school district’s budget vote, as well as an an online survey that was advertised on the district’s website, social media, and in the local newspapers. Of the 217 people who completed the survey, 81.6 percent supported the district adopting the exemption.

The district held two public hearings about the exemptions on Oct. 9 and Nov. 14. School officials also fielded questions and comments from residents through phone calls, letters, emails and on-site visits.

“On behalf of the board of education, I would like to express my appreciation to the community members who shared their opinions about the exemptions,” board President Matt Sullivan said. “The feedback we’ve received over the last seven months helped us come to this decision.”

Tax exemptions cause a redistribution of taxes among taxpayers (tax shift). The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value will increase for all taxpayers to generate the same amount of taxes (the tax levy).

Tax exemptions do not affect the total amount of money a district needs to raise (tax levy). Therefore, if a town’s assessed value decreases due to exemptions, then all taxpayers will need to pay more to make up the difference.

In order to be eligible, veterans must be honorably discharged and served during the following time periods:

  • Persian Gulf conflict (8/2/90 – present)
  • Vietnam War (2/28/61 – 5/7/75)
  • Korean War (6/27/50 – 1/31/55)
  • World War II (12/7/41 – 12/31/46)
  • Cold War period (9/2/45 – 12/26/91)

The Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption is available only on residential property of a veteran who has served during a designated time of war, or who has received an expeditionary medal. Fonda-Fultonville would offer a 15 percent reduction in assessed value for veterans who served during a time of war, up to $12,000 in assessed value. If the veteran served in a combat zone, they would receive an additional 10 percent exemption up to $8,000 in assessed value. Veterans could also receive a reduction up to 50 percent based on their service-connected disabilities, up to $40,000 in assessed value.

The Cold War Veterans Exemption is available only on residential property of a veteran who served during the Cold War period. Fonda-Fultonville would offer a 10 percent reduction in assessed value, up to $8,000 in assessed value. Veterans could also receive a reduction up to 50 percent based on their service-connected disabilities, up to $40,000 in assessed value.

Local veterans who qualify would have a choice between receiving the Alternative Veterans or Cold War tax exemption. They cannot receive both if they are eligible.

Estimated school tax bill changes

The chart shows the estimated impact to tax bills with the adoption of the Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption. Estimates are not available for the Cold War Veterans Exemption due to limited data, but there are approximately 100 residents who qualify for it.

Estimates are based on a home assessed at $100,000 using the tax assessed values and equalization rates from the 2016-17 tax roll. The rates will likely change and will not take effect until the 2019-20 school tax bills.

Municipality: Estimated Tax Bill Change

  • Amsterdam (town): $243.36
  • Carlisle: $26.74
  • Charleston: $21.12
  • Esperance: $21.78
  • Florida: $43.11
  • Glen: $34.63
  • Johnstown (city): $21.12
  • Johnstown (town): $30.18
  • Mohawk: $21.12
  • Palatine: $36.42
  • Root: $21.12