At its Dec. 13 regular meeting, the outcome of the Board of Education’s vote on the NYS Veterans’ Tax Exemption was split with two yes votes, two no votes, and one abstention. Additionally two board members were not present. This resolution did not receive the majority of votes (4) for adoption.
In September, a public forum was held to learn more about the Veterans’ Tax Exemption and what it means for BH-BL residents. In October, the board sought input through a community survey in an effort to learn how the community felt about offering the exemption. The survey results showed that respondents had mixed views. In November, a public hearing about the exemption was also held.
Under the Veterans’ Tax Exemption, the tax levy (total amount of taxes) collected from all residents by the school district does not change, but rather causes a shift in taxes. Therefore, veterans applying for the exemptions would have their school taxes lowered, while non-veterans and those not applying for the exemption would experience an increase. The size of the increase varies based on a property owner’s assessment.
“Although the board of education is divided on the tax exemption, we are in agreement on our sincere appreciation to veterans for their service to our country,” said board President Peter Sawyer, who voted in favor of offering the exemption. “Some board members felt that dividing residents by veteran status may not be the best way to express that support, or in the best long-term interest of the district. The board, however, is in support of the legislation introduced in the state assembly and senate that would have the state fund the Veterans Tax Exemption."
No action on the resolution was taken because it was neither passed nor rejected. A board motion to reconsider the resolution could be acted upon at a future meeting.
Board members Peter Sawyer and Will Farmer supported the resolution; Jennifer Longtin and James Maughan did not support the resolution; Jennifer Bradt abstained; and John Blowers and Patrick Ziegler were absent.
BH-BL board members held a public forum in September to explain how the Veterans' Tax Exemption would impact BH-BL residents, collected feedback via community survey throughout October, and held a public hearing Nov. 14. At its Dec. 13 meeting, the board will decide if it will enact the Veterans' Tax Exemption at level 1 and include Gold Star parents. [LEARN MORE]
At its Nov. 1 meeting, the BH-BL Board of Education reviewed and discussed the results from the Veterans' Tax Exemption survey it shared with the public in October. The board relied on the survey responses and comments to guide them in their decision-making process. The board will now hold a formal public hearing on Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the O'Rourke Middle School library where they will consider enacting the Veterans' Tax Exemption at level 1 and include Gold Star parents. The hearing will be open for community member comments. A final decision will be made by the board at its Dec. 13 meeting. To learn more about the tax exemption, please review the links above.
At the Veterans' Tax Exemption Informational Forum on Sept. 20, the board and public learned about the exemption and what it means to qualifying veterans and non-qualifying taxpayers living in BH-BL. Before the board makes a decision about whether or not to enact the exemption and at what level, it would like to hear from the BH-BL community. Please take a moment to answer a brief survey. The board will use the survey responses during their decision- making process. Before you take the survey, please take a moment to watch a recording of the forum and review the handouts, if you did not attend the forum. The survey will close on Oct. 20. [PRESENTATION] [VET TAX GUIDE HANDOUT]
The BH-BL Board of Education will host a Veteran's Tax Exemption forum on Sept. 20 where school leaders will share details of the exemption and what the it means, more specifically, for BH-BL. There will be time after the presentation for public comment. The forum is an informational meeting only. The board will not make a decision about the tax exemption option at the forum. The forum will begin after the board's regular business portion of its meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20 in the O'Rourke Middle School library.