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Vets May Get A Break

Residents in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich 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.  

A public hearing was held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to discuss the exemption, where Christopher Van Cott, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, presented the background and fiscal impacts to residents of the district; the vote was held Tuesday, March 4, after press time.

“I anticipate an approval,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laura Seinfeld told the Enterprise-Pilot prior to the vote.

School officials say that the board of education’s decision will impact the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Public Library, and the tax burden would shift to remaining properties, resulting in lower assessed value and higher tax rates.

According to Van Cott, any impact to school taxes as a result of the exemption would need to be picked up by non-veteran taxpayers. Residents who are ineligible for this tax exemption will need to pay an average of $11 more per household.