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Veterans' Real Property Tax Exemptions

The current alternative veterans' exemption was designed to make more veterans eligible for exemptions, especially those veterans of Korea and Vietnam who did not receive payments which would have qualified them under the old law.

The definition of wartime contained in the law was recently amended to include the period of February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975. Previously, the Vietnam War was defined in the law starting on December 22, 1961.

For questions about any other matters dealing with assessment, you may call our taxpayer information bureau at (516) 571-1500. Or, you may write to me at the Nassau County Department of Assessment, 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, New York 11501.

THE CURRENT VETERANS' EXEMPTION LAW

State law provides that Nassau County veterans applying for the first time for a Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption shall receive an exemption based on the type of service they rendered to their country during wartime.

This exemption is called the Alternative Veterans' Exemption. Like the Eligible Funds Exemption it replaces, it applies to county and town taxes, but not to school or special district taxes.

Village and city taxes are also exempted at local option. Veterans who live in incorporated villages or in the City of Glen Cove or Long Beach should contact their municipal clerk or assessor.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

The property may be exempted if the owner is a veteran or unremarried surviving spouse. If there is no unremarried surviving spouse, the veteran's surviving dependent father, mother or minor children may also be eligible under certain conditions.

Gold Star Parents, who are the parents of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces during a period of war, are also eligible for the Alternative Veterans' Exemption.

The veteran must have served on active duty in U.S. Armed forces during the Persian Gulf conflict (on or after August 2, 1990); in Panama (Dec. 20, 1989-Jan. 31, 1990); in Lebanon (June l, 1983-Dec. l, 1987); in Grenada (Oct. 23, 1983-Nov. 21, 1983); the Vietnam War (Feb. 28, 1961-May 7, 1975); Korean War (June 27, 1950-Jan. 31, 1955); World War II (Dec. 7, 1941-Dec. 31, 1946); World War I (April 6, 1917-Nov. 11, 1918); the Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916-April 5, 1917) or the Spanish American War (April 21, 1898-July 4, 1902). Many merchant seamen who served during World War II are now eligible for this exemption. Also, some recipients of an Expeditionary Medal who served during a period of war, or in Lebanon, Grenada or Panama, may be eligible for the Alternative Veterans' Exemption. For details, please call the Veterans' Division at the Department of Assessment.

The property must be used exclusively for residential purposes and must be the primary residence of the eligible applicant unless that person is absent from the property due to medical reasons or is institutionalized.

WHAT BENEFITS ARE GRANTED?

Eligible applicants will receive an exemption from county and town taxes, but not from special district or school taxes. The exemption is equal to 15% of your assessment for service during wartime and an additional 10% for service in a combat area, or for having received an Expeditionary Medal.

An additional exemption of onehalf of the disability rating is granted for serviceconnected disability certified by the Veterans' Administration or the Department of Defense. This exemption lasts as long as the disability does. If the disability is not certified as permanent, the applicant must submit a renewal application as required by the assessor each year.

Under state law, if your house is assessed at more then $12,000, the wartime service and combat service exemptions are awarded in a fixed ceiling amount.

ELIGIBLE FUNDS EXEMPTIONS CONTINUE

Persons who now receive the old Eligible Funds Exemption may continue to receive it as long as they remain eligible, or they may switch to the Alternative Veterans' Exemption if they feel the new law will be more beneficial to them.

Once a veteran switches to the Alternative Veterans' Exemption, he/she cannot switch back to the Eligible Funds Law unless he/she moves to someplace in New York State which has opted not to provide the Alternative Veterans' Exemption. Persons who are now receiving an Eligible Funds Exemption may continue to add to it by filing supplemental applications if they receive additional eligible funds.

WHEN TO APPLY

Applications must be filed by January 2nd as prescribed by state law. For information on filing applications in incorporated villages or cities, contact your local village or city assessor.

HOW TO APPLY FOR AN ALTERNATIVE EXEMPTION

1. Request an application from:

Veterans' Exemption Division
Department of Assessment

240 Old Country Road, 4th Floor
Mineola, New York 11501
(516)571-1500

2. The following documents or certified copies must be presented:

  • Deed to property or certificate of share if you reside in a cooperative apartment.

  • Proof of Residence (drivers license, car registration, telephone or utility bill).

  • Form DD214 (military service discharge papers) or other written documentation (separation papers, orders awarding combat medals, or VA documentation of disability).

  • In cases involving two or more properties, a letter from any municipality where a previous Veterans' Exemption was granted stating that said exemption was removed.
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