Some veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been wrongly denied property-tax exemptions they are entitled to after completing their military service, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who sent county property-tax officials a letter clarifying the issue.
Schneiderman said the section of state law that provides for property-tax exemptions is written in such a way that it suggests the benefit doesn’t apply to military veterans who have served during recent conflicts. Veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terror are eligible for an exemption of 15 percent of the assessed value of their residential property. If they served in a combat zone, they are entitled to an additional property-tax exemption of 10 percent, for a total of 25 percent.
“Veterans who bravely served after the horrific events of 9/11 deserve the same benefits as those who served before them. Unfortunately, a confusing law left some of those service members behind, costing them and their families thousands of dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “This new effort will help ensure that local tax officials give military families the benefits they deserve, whether they were earned during the Korean War or the current war in Afghanistan.”
Veterans who served in the military during the last 23 years qualify for the exemption, which applies to county, city, town and village property taxes. It does not apply to school and special district taxes. New York law, like federal law, classifies all military service in the last 23 years as having taken place during the “Persian Gulf War” period, described as Aug. 2, 1990 to the present. It does not specify that this applies to veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan, the second Iraq war or the global war on terror.
For more information on the veterans property-tax exemption, call Schneiderman’s office at 800-771-7755.