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Veteran’s Tax Exemption Approved

It was a positive night for our local veterans, as the Oyster Bay/East Norwich Board of Education approved the Veteran’s Tax Exemption Law at last week’s board of education meeting. The new school tax break for veterans, signed into law in December, is a partial property tax exemption available to service veterans who are residents of districts that opt in. The meeting was a follow up to a public hearing on the tax exemption which took place on Feb. 11.

Eligible recipients are entitled to the exemptions provided in the Real Property Tax Law under the designations of “qualified owner,”  “qualifying residential real property,” and “veteran.” Recipients are entitled to a maximum of $12,000 (qualified owner), $8,000 (qualifying residential real property), and $40,000 (veteran).

Recipients of these exemptions are permitted to transfer, on a pro-rata basis, the exemption to another home purchased within the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School district, as provided in the Real Property Tax Law.

The Gold Star Parent Exemption, which extends to the parent(s) of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces during a period of war was approved by the Board of Education. Parent(s) who fall under the legal limit of this law are entitled to a combined maximum of $20,000 as limited by the Real Property Tax Law.

Other News:

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, Christopher Van Cott gave an overview of budget expenditures, explaining all of the monetary factors that go into developing the budget. The total proposed budget number for the 2014-15 school year is $54,624,638. This is a slight increase from the 2013-14 school year where the adopted budget total was $53,504,111.

Positive factors impacting the 2014-15 fiscal year are retirements and other personnel shifts, new collective bargaining agreements, July-December Health Insurance premiums, Tax Anticipation Note interest rate, transportation and Tax Base Growth Factor.

“The district will save approximately $700,000 in savings in these areas in the 2014-15 budget,” said Van Cott.

District Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld said that in preparing the proposed expenditure budget, district and building administrators, “carefully studied all areas, always with the district mission and board of education goals guiding our work. We are pleased to be able to propose a budget that maintains all areas of our core instructional program including class size and comprehensive instructional offerings, with continuous improvement and curricular enhancements.”

She added that the expenditure budget is only a draft and there are still numerous unknown factors including likely additional state funds.

The board of education will adopt a budget on April 8.

News

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com