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Local Vets May Get A Break

Residents in the Island Trees school district may need to pony up more in taxes as a result of a proposed exemption for veterans. Across New York State, school districts are being asked to provide this special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability. 


While a similar exemption already exists at the county level, the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community.  


At a public hearing, on Feb. 12, members of the Island Trees School District Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the exemption. School officials estimate approximately 300 residents in the district are eligible to apply for the tax break. 


Superintendent of the Island Trees Schools Dr. Charles Murphy, said the district’s decision was largely a result of the community’s history, as a post-WWII suburb for returning G.I.’s. 


“It was an easy decision to accept this tax exemption,” Murphy said. “Levittown was built by veterans, for veterans.”  


According to Murphy, any impact to school taxes as a result of the exemption, would need to be picked up by non-veteran taxpayers. As a result, residents who are ineligible for this tax exemption, will need to pay an average of $43 more per household.