Sunday, April 29, 2018

Support for Cold War Veterans

February 2018
Ft. Hood, Texas; Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; Yokota Air Base, Japan – These are a few of the places my family was stationed while I was growing up. My father enlisted in the US Army in 1966. Assigned to the Signal Corps, he was sent to Officer Candidate School and made a career of the Army until he retired in 1986. A tour in Viet Nam, a remote posting in South Korea, and responding to the USSR’s shooting down of KAL007 killing all 269 civilians aboard were all significant events that impacted his career and our family.

It was with these experiences in mind that I voted to support the extension of the local property tax exemption for Cold War Veterans. This legislation provides important relief to veterans who served between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 and were honorably discharged. The extension lifted the prior 10-year limit, allowing Cold War veterans to continue benefitting from the exemption.

According to the American Community Survey, 1,141 veterans live in Pisttsford, including almost 700 who served in the Cold War. With the recently passed legislation, Cold War veterans can continue to receive an exemption of 10% of the assessed value of their property, for an exemption of up to $8,000 of their property tax. Disabled veterans’ exemption is higher, based on their disability rating from the US Veterans Administration, and may go up to $40,000.

Military veterans and their families incur direct and indirect financial costs from their service, including costs associated with frequent moves, impact of those moves on their ability to build home equity, and effects on spousal employment and earnings. Property tax relief is the least our community can do to support veterans and their families.

If you are a Cold War veteran and want more information about how to qualify for the property tax exemption, contact the Pittsford Assessor’s Office at 11 South Main Street, Pittsford; (585) 248-6230; office hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.

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