Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00
The Levittown Public School District’s Board of Education—following in the footsteps of the neighboring Island Trees School district—recently adopted a proposed tax break for veterans.
Throughout New York State, school districts are being asked to vote on a special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability.
Although a similar exemption already exists at the county level, the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community.
At a public hearing, on March 12, members of the Levittown Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the exemption. According to Assistant Superintendent of Business William Pastore, estimate approximately 1,562 veterans in the district are eligible to apply for the tax break. Of the total 1,563 veterans eligble, only 628 qualify as combat veterans, 97 qualify as a veteran with a service-connected disablity, and 837 qualify for a noncombat exemption.
“The Board of Education was happy to grant this extension to the many veterans in the Levittown community,” said Levittown Schools Superintendent Dr. James Grossane. “We have never forgotten that Levittown was planned and built for veterans, and we are pleased to acknowledge their service to this country in this way.”
Any impact to school and library taxes as a result of the exemption, would need to be picked up by non-veteran taxpayers. As a result, residents who are ineligible for this tax exemption are being asked to pay $55.11 more in school taxes and $2.99 more in library taxes, for a total annual increase of $58.10 more per household.
Board members explained that the approval of the Alternative Veterans exemption, would also extend to "Gold Star" Parents, who lost a child during combat. According to Board President Kevin Regan, the Board of Education adopted the alternative exemption on behalf of the Levittown community to show appreciation to the veterans and their families.
“Levittown was built as a community for veterans and we should be at the forefront in approving this veterans exemption,” Regan said.