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January 18, 2018 - 5:08pm

Only a handful of local governments recognize service of Cold War veterans with property tax exemption

posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, cold war veterans, news, notify.

Of the 25 taxing jurisdictions in Genesee County -- not counting the ones in other counties with some local overlap -- only nine have adopted a property tax exemption for Cold War veterans.

The tax exemption is one of the few available to veterans who served during the Cold War but not during Vietnam or some other armed conflict.

Veterans Services Officer William Joyce said he's working to get more jurisdictions to get it passed but it isn't easy.

One school district -- he didn't say which one -- flat turned him down.

"A vet is a vet," Joyce said. "It’s a benefit they earn. It’s not a privilege. It’s time served."

Veterans who served in armed conflicts or used military benefits to purchase their homes are eligible for benefits under other programs.

The initial Cold War exemption was capped at 10 years but the State Legislature last year approved an indefinite extension that each local jurisdiction must pass even if they have an exemption already in place.

Joyce is working on that now.

The county is adopting the extension.

Jurisdictions that provide the exemption, besides the county, are the Town of Alexander, The Village of Alexander, the Town of Bergen, the Town of Elba, the Town of Oakfield, the Town of Pavilion, and the Town of Stafford.

Batavia City Schools adopted the exemption just last week. City Schools is the only district in the county to adopt the exemption.

Some of the jurisdictions that chose not to adopt the exemption include the City of Batavia, the Village of Bergen, the Village of Elba, the Village of Le Roy, the Village of Oakfield, and the Village of Corfu.

Alexander, town and village, are the only jurisdictions that have adopted the higher tier exemption, which is a formula that calculates an exemption of 15 percent off of assessed value or a maximum exemption of $12,000.

All other jurisdictions with the exemption adopted the first tier, which is 10 percent off of the assessed value or a maximum of $6,000.

Kyle Slocum
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"the Town of Village" Missed something in editing there. I'm intrigued, though. Which or what?

"One school district -- he didn't say which one -- flat turned him down." Hmm. I would love to know the story there. Is it because the district is feeling a pinch and can't deal with this now, or is it because the bureaucrat who was asked has biases and prejudices?

If it is biases and prejudices, I think someone needs an ethics refresher and a new job.

Howard B. Owens
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Thanks, Kyle. That's been corrected to Town of Bergen.

John Roach
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I asked my County Legislator, John Deleo, about this and he said the County has it.

Howard B. Owens
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I guess I didn't make that clear ... I did write, "The county is adopting the extension." That means, of course, that it is in place to extend, but that probably isn't clear enough. Oops.

david spaulding
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speaking of biases , asking me to pay someone else's tax bill is very bias. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but I'll be the only one who says it.

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