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Vets’ Exemption Passes

The Glen Cove Board of Education passed the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption for taxes following last week’s public hearing at Robert M. Finley Middle School, to the appreciation of the veterans in attendance.

 

Several dozen vets arrived promptly at 6 p.m. at the middle school to express their support for the tax exemption. Many noted that they get tax breaks from the city and county, but are still left with the ever-growing school tax bill.

 

“We’re having a hard time with our taxes, especially the school tax,” said the first veteran to speak.

 

“The largest tax is the school tax,” said Don Albin, noting he is a 100 percent disabled veteran who is retired and wondering whether to stay in Glen Cove or move in a few years. “All of my grandchildren are here, I don’t want to move down south. It’s not fair that

I don’t get anything taken off the school tax bill.”

 

Theresa Hollowell, whose husband is a Vietnam veteran with health problems, said, “He has given a great deal for his country. This is very little that you can give back...these are our heroes and we should honor, respect and help them.”

 

A similar exemption already exists at the county level, but the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community. The law passed in December and gave most districts until March 15 to hold a public hearing and decide whether or not it would provide the exemption; however, since Glen Cove is a city school district, Superintendent Rianna explained, it was given an extension. Also, she said, they had more questions that needed answering before moving forward.

 

 Assistant Superintendent for Business Victoria Galante explained that the special exemption provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability. According to Galante, a total of 691 veterans live in Glen Cove that could potentially be eligible for the exemption. She said 400 are now taking the alternative tax exemption and these people do not need to reapply; 290 veterans have an eligible funds exemption, who would need to reapply. All veterans will be contacted by the City of Glen Cove with details and have until Dec. 31 to apply. The exemption will be applied to the 2015-16 school tax.

 

Galante said that if all eligible veterans take the exemption, the impact will be about $116 per year per household. She had previously reported the highest number to be $121. If only the 400 vets who currently take the alternative tax exemption continue to take it, the impact will be about $58 per year per household.

 

“I don’t think it’s a big deal for someone to pay $121 a year...I shed my blood...I think we deserve a bit of a break,” said Sam Esposito.

 

Anthony Jimenez noted that one reason the exemption is of necessity for veterans is because of the time they invested in the service, “when other people entered the job market and found their niche...there’s catching up to do.”

 

Rick Smith was one of only two people who spoke out against the exemption. “I first of all express thanks to all veterans,” he said. “It seems to me like a scheme cooked up by the governor to get votes...whether you pass it or not, it’s a bad law. The federal government should take care of the vets not the school district...people should be honored with a lot more than what this is, and have across the board discounts, not different tiers. This won’t be fair to all who apply.”

 

Resident Jan Warner noted, “Vets deserve equal levels of discounts...only homeowners benefit...each vet increases the school budget. Vote no in protest.”

 

The way the law stands, disabled veterans are entitled to the largest discount of 25 percent, while veterans who saw combat receive a 15 percent discount and non-combat veterans receive a 10 percent discount.

 

All six trustees who were present voted in favor of the exemption; Trustee Maureen Pappachristou was absent due to illness. 

 

“You guys are entitled to everything we could possibly give you,” said Trustee Dave Huggins.

 

“Everything I have is because of you,” said Trustee Richard Maccarone. “All vets are welcome here in Glen Cove, anything we can do, you deserve.”

 

“I’m a believer that whatever I say or do is because of you...I believe that you are the best that America has,” said Trustee Grady Farnan.

 

“It’s an honor to approve the exemption in Glen Cove,” said Board President Donna Brady.

 

More information is available at the district’s website www.glencove.k12.ny.us.


News

Local residents were out in full force at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting at Glen Cove City Hall in opposition of a new 7-11 convenience store that is set to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Cedar Swamp Road. According to Stuart Grossman, chairman of the Zoning Board, the meeting was officially supposed to be focused on sign variances for the new store, but residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

New York State Assemblyman and Frost Pond Road resident Michael Montesano said that he hopes the board will deny the application for the new 7-11 because of the traffic impact and light pollution the new store will create.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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