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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.