Veterans' school tax exemptions are growing

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By Rick Karlin

Military veterans who now work in the public sector are still hoping, after two vetoes, for a provision that would broaden the ranks of those who can buy extra pension credits. And while the fate of that measure remains uncertain, there is a decidedly bright spot concerning the way New York’s approximately 900,000 veterans are treated that centers on school tax exemptions.
Since the state first allowed it a few years ago, the number of school districts that give veterans a break on property taxes has grown rapidly, from just four districts three years ago to about 220 today, said Jim McGovern, a Department of Taxation and Finance analyst who testified Monday before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
More veterans are becoming aware of the exemption and, increasingly, they are banding together to ask local school boards for the tax break.
“There’s a lot of advocacy going in school boards,” McGovern said.
The exemptions vary depending on a range of factors. Those who sustained disabling combat injuries get some of the biggest exemptions.
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