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North Hempstead extends property tax break to town’s veterans

Qualified veterans who own homes in the town could receive up to 15 percent off their tax bills. Nearly 400 veterans currently receive the benefit.

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on Sept.

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on Sept. 1, 2015. Photo Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

Cold War-era veterans who own homes in the town of North Hempstead will continue to receive property tax exemptions of up to 15 percent, after the town board agreed to extend the measure that was about to expire.

The tax exemption previously had a 10-year limit, but the town recently voted unanimously to keep offering the benefit. And under legislation that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed in September, taxing jurisdictions such as towns and school districts can grant the exemption as long as the veteran remains a homeowner.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said that in the town, there is a “tremendous sense of appreciation for the sacrifice our veterans have made.”

“Any opportunity we can take to show our appreciation for what they’ve [veterans] done is something you can count me in on,” she said.

This exemption applies to veterans who served on active duty in the military during the Cold War era, from Sept. 2, 1945, to Dec. 26, 1991. There are 388 veterans in the Town of North Hempstead currently receiving the exemption, according to a town release. Extra reductions are potentially available for veterans with service-related disabilities, according to the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs.

Town officials say that the exemptions do not affect North Hempstead’s budgets or tax levies. The Cold War-era exemption removes “a very small amount of taxable assessed value” from the tax rolls, which “probably doesn’t increase town, county or school tax rates,” town Tax Receiver Charles Berman said in the release.

Counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts have the option to offer the exemption to veterans. They can pass the extension if 10 years has elapsed since it was initially adopted, said James Gazzale, a spokesman with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

This exemption is separate from the alternative veterans’ property tax exemption, which was signed into law in 2013. That exemption applies to veterans of World War II and the wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Eligible veterans can request to receive only one type of exemption with the Nassau County Department of Assessment.

Newsday previously reported that more than 6,000 Cold War-era veterans living on Long Island receive exemptions on their town and city taxes.

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