PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh City School District residents have expressed support for giving military veterans a break on school taxes.
During the May 20 budget vote, the district conducted a non-binding poll of voters to see what interest they had in offering the veterans exemption.
Of the 709 people who participated in the survey, 61 percent indicated they were in favor of the new tax breaks.
Voters were also asked at which of 11 levels they would support the exemptions, with 30 percent opting for the lowest tier, which grants tax breaks of $6,000 to wartime veterans, with an additional $4,000 going to those who fought in a combat-zone; and $20,000 total to disabled veterans.
Eighteen percent opted for the highest exemption level, which allows for tax breaks of $36,000 (wartime), with $24,000 more for combat zone; and $120,000 total for the disabled category.
City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short said the School Board will discuss the results publicly at its next meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 5, in the Duken Building.
Similar surveys were also conducted in a number of other area school districts and garnered comparable results.
“The straw poll did indicate that a majority of the voters were in favor of the exemption,” said Laura Marlow, superintendent of Northern Adirondack Central School.
There, 204 people expressed support for the tax breaks, while 78 indicated they wished not to offer them.
“The BOE (Board of Education) will take the results of the poll under consideration prior to the next budget vote,” Marlow said.
At Saranac Lake Central School, 518 residents said they approved of the exemption, and 192 did not.
District Superintendent Diane Fox plans to host a public hearing on the matter before the School Board adopts the exemption.
When asked if the Schroon Lake School Board should approve the tax breaks for the 2015-16 school year, 169 voters said “yes,” 60 said “no,” and one person provided a write-in response indicating support of the exemption only for those who served in combat.