School Districts: New York State Allows School Districts The Option To Offer Significant Real Property Tax Exemption To Veterans (1/14)

by Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC

In December of 2013, the New York State Legislature expanded Real Property Tax Law ("RPTL") Section 458-a. As originally enacted in the 1980s, RPTL Section 458-a provided a partial exemption from county, city, town and village real property taxes to qualified properties owned by veterans, but expressly omitted school districts from the list of eligible municipalities. With this revision, school districts may now offer this real property tax exemption to veterans by local option.


Pursuant to RPTL Section 458-a, the exemption applies to the primary residence of qualified veterans. A veteran qualifies if he or she served in active military, naval or air service during a period of war, or received the armed forces expeditionary medal, navy expeditionary medal, marine corps expeditionary medal or global war on terrorism expeditionary medal and was discharged or released under honorable conditions.

School districts may extend this exemption so that it also applies to real property owned by a cooperative corporation ("co-op") with veteran tenant-stockholders. In addition, school districts may further extend the exemption so that it applies to "Gold Star Parents." Gold Star Parents are parents of a child who died in the line of duty to the United States Armed Services during a time of war.

Exemption Amount

If enacted, a qualified veteran will receive a property tax exemption equal to 15% of their primary residence’s total (equalized) assessed value. A veteran who served in a combat zone will receive an additional tax exemption equal to 10% of the residence’s total (equalized) assessed value. Finally, a veteran who received a service-connected disability rating from the Veterans’ Administration or the Department of Defense will receive an additional tax exemption equal to one-half of the disability rating multiplied by the assessed (equalized) value of the property.

Notwithstanding, the law provides dollar-value "caps" to the exemption amounts. Specifically, the statute sets a default cap of $8,000 for veterans who served during wartime; $12,000 for veterans who served in a combat zone; and, $40,000 for veterans who sustained a service-connected disability.


To enact the basic veterans exemption with the statutory default exemption cap levels, the district must first hold a public hearing; then, the district must adopt a resolution authorizing the exemption with the statutory default exemption cap levels. If a school district desires to change the statutory default exemption cap levels, the district must hold a second public hearing and pass a separate resolution authorizing local exemption cap levels.

To enact either the co-op or Gold Star Parents exemption extensions, a district must adopt a separate resolution after the base exemption has been duly adopted. (If enacting both extensions, we recommend that the district pass a separate resolution for each). Unlike the base exemption and cap changes, however, public hearings are not required to adopt the co-op or Gold Star Parents exemption extensions.

To formally adopt or reject the exemption after a hearing, a simple majority vote of the district’s governing board (not a supermajority) is required.

Financial Impact

Calculation of the financial impact of enacting the veteran’s exemption will vary for every school district, but it is clear that districts who enact the exemption will likely need to account for the revenue loss by increasing its tax rates. Moreover, because this exemption is applied in addition to the STAR exemption, it has been suggested that participating school districts will receive less STAR reimbursement money from the state if the exemption is adopted. Thus, by expanding RPTL Section 458-a to allow school districts to offer the veterans exemption, school districts are faced with a difficult decision: provide a financial benefit to those who honorably and selflessly served our country; or, keep taxes low for all taxpayers in the district’s boundaries.


Written by:

Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC

Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.