CHAMPLAIN — Northeastern Clinton Central School will not offer a tax break to military veterans on 2014-15 school taxes but will consider it for future years.
In order for such an exemption to take effect next school year, the School Board would have to authorize it by March 1.
However, the board has opted to hold off on the decision until the community has been given a chance to weigh in.
At a recent meeting, the board approved a motion to conduct a voluntary voter exit poll at the May 20 school budget vote and election, asking residents whether the board should shift some of the property-tax levy from veterans to other segments of the community.
“There could be school community members that will have strong opinions on this,” NCCS Interim Superintendent A. Paul Scott told the board before the motion was approved.
Real-property tax law has allowed each of the state’s counties, cities, towns and villages the option of exempting veterans from property taxes for a number of years, but the allowance was only recently given to school districts via an amendment signed in November 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The program classifies veterans as wartime, combat zone and disabled, with disabled veterans eligible for the highest exemption, and wartime, the lowest.
However, the maximum allowable exemption amounts vary depending on the municipality.
In addition, it is a lifetime exemption, which transfers to the surviving spouse upon the death of the veteran for the remainder of his or her lifetime, the Press-Republican learned from Brian Dowling, Town of Plattsburgh assessor and former City of Plattsburgh assessor.
The NCCS School Board has authorized the district’s business manager to gather information from local government offices this month regarding the impact the exemption would have on the local tax base.