Niskayuna school board surveys public on veterans’ tax break

Though the middle of his talk to the Niskayuna School Board on the Alternative Veterans Exemption, Niskayuna resident and veteran Gary Horton recites the Pledge of Allegiance. (Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer)Though the middle of his talk to the Niskayuna School Board on the Alternative Veterans Exemption, Niskayuna resident and veteran Gary Horton recites the Pledge of Allegiance. (Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer)

BY ZACHARY MATSON
Gazette Reporter

Residents in the Niskayuna School District have a chance to let district officials know what they think about a proposal to adopt a tax break for the district’s wartime veterans.

You can provide feedback on the subject in a seven-question survey by clicking the link in the “Latest News” section of www.niskayunaschools.org.

The board is expected to consider the survey feedback and the tax-break proposal at its Feb. 23 meeting.

When the school board held an informational meeting about the tax exemption last month, dozens of veterans filled the high school’s Little Theatre to urge the board to approve the break.

Many veterans were upset that the board didn’t take action at that meeting, but board members said they would consider the public’s input before deciding whether it was the right thing for everyone in the district.

Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. strongly suggested at the January meeting that the board would consider the exemption at its Feb. 8 meeting, but last week the district announced the survey and said the issue will be on the Feb. 23 meeting agenda.

The board must act by March 1 for the tax exemption to be available this year.

If the board approves the exemption, wartime veterans are estimated to be eligible for between $100 and over $500 in savings, depending on where the veteran lives and whether he or she was in combat or has a military disability. But the more than $140,000 in total tax breaks the district projects would be shifted to the rest of the district’s taxpayers, raising taxes on everyone else between $11 and $26 a year for a home assessed at $250,000.

This story originally appeared at dailygazette.com.