Niskayuna school board to consider tax breaks for veterans

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

BY ZACHARY MATSON
Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — The Niskayuna Board of Education will consider a tax break for veterans at its board meeting Tuesday night at Rosendale Elementary School at 6 p.m.

The meeting comes after veterans in the school district organized a letter campaign and showed up in droves to an informational meeting last month, where they urged the board members to pass the exemption.

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.

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. The more than $140,000 in total tax breaks the district projects would be shifted to the rest of the district’s taxpayers, raising their taxes between $11 and $26 a year for a home assessed at $250,000.

State lawmakers have bills filed at the Capitol that would reimburse school districts that adopted the veterans tax break. But those bills haven’t been acted on.