Public hearing on Tuesday about veterans exemption

The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District will hold a public hearing regarding the Alternative Veterans and Cold War tax exemptions. The hearing is scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the middle school multi-purpose room.

The district is considering the adoption of these tax exemptions. Whether or not the exemptions are offered in any given community is up to the local school board. District boards of education can vote whether or not to offer exemption as well as the level of exemption to offer.

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.

If the exemptions are adopted by the board, 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. Obtaining a veterans’ exemption is not automatic – eligible veterans must submit the initial exemption application form to their assessor.

Impact of exemptions

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.

Survey results

The district administered a community survey in May to gauge the community’s feedback about adopting the Alternative Veteran’s Tax Exemption. It 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.

Who is eligible?

Alternative Veteran’s Tax Exemption

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 Veterans’ Exemption

Veterans must be honorably discharged and must have served during the Cold War period (9/2/45 – 12/26/91).

Estimated school tax bill changes

The chart shows the estimated impact to tax bills should the district adopt 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. If approved by the school board, the exemption would take effect for 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