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Letter: Veterans Deserve Better

Our Governor, Mario Cuomo, wants to get re-elected. He needs votes. Military veterans vote, so he cooked up a scheme that gives veterans a school tax reduction by lowering their property assessment. He passed this law, but gave local school districts the choice whether or not to approve it. He wants to look good while placing taxpayers in the position of looking bad to veterans if they vote to disapprove this absurd law. 


Veterans are universally appreciated, so how could anyone deny any reasonable benefit to them? Veterans have always enjoyed certain advantages.  There was the G.I. Bill, V.A. hospitals, and other benefits including some property tax relief. However, the new school tax reduction law, which has several classifications of benefits depending upon where you served or if wounded, will be a nightmare, if passed.  It will be virtually impossible to ascertain just how much this will cost. Our assistant to the Superintendent for Business,

Victoria Galante, provided us with figures of which she said she couldn’t be sure. When I pushed her and the School Board at the last meeting to come up with a figure that it will cost the district, or be paid by the other taxpayers, they said $121.13 per each of 5990 households, or $725,579.18  


In order to pass a budget this year, the School Board said it is necessary to cut over a dozen jobs.  I can not imagine any veteran wanting to benefit financially at the expense of our children’s education.


Anything to do with veterans is a national issue.  It is the federal government’s responsibility. The governor is very misguided.  If he wants to do the right thing, let him cut state income taxes, and convince the President to cut federal income taxes for veterans. That would be fair to everyone, since that reward is everyone’s responsibility, not Glen Cove’s children’s. Contact your school board members and attend the next meeting on April 7. Convince them to disapprove the governor’s mistake.


Rick Smith