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Vet Tax Breaks Up For Discussion

Residents in the Mineola School District may or may not need to pony up more in taxes as a result of a proposed exemption for veterans. Across New York State, school districts are being met with this special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks based on whether or not they are a veteran, saw combat or suffered a disability. It’s possible to qualify for all three.

 

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.  

 

Members of the Mineola School District Board of Education would have to approve the exemption during a public hearing, but no hearing has been confirmed. If they elect to deny the exemption, a hearing is not needed.

 

“I have quite a bit of [literature] on that,” Mineola School Board President Artie Barnett said. “It has been recommended to the school boards to hold off until they can rectify some language in the law. If we were to grant an exemption, there was no way out of it or to adjust it afterwards.” 

 

Mineola resident Sal Thomas, who served in Iraq in 2004-05, is in favor of the exemption.

 

“I think it’s such a challenge with the cost of living, especially in Long Island,” he said. “With this exemption, it would greatly help veterans who want to come back to where they grew up and raise a family.”

 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Nagler said the tax tiers can cause changes in alloted exemptions.

 

“Every tier changes the dollar amount,” he said. “It’s a bigger exemption if you were in combat or are a Gold Star parent (lost someone in combat). There’s a lot of pieces to it that can change the number.”

 

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 more per household. District officials said they could not release numbers because the school board did not officially discuss it in a hearing.

 

The state deadline to enact the exemption for this tax season is March 15.

 

“We’ve definitely been having some internal discussions on it,” Barnett said.


News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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