NEW: RESCHEDULED: Public Hearing on Alternative Veterans Tax Exemption Resolution

February 21, 2014
by Jeffrey Mester, President
CCSD Board of Education

Editor’s Note: The Board of Education’s public hearing for the Veterans’ Tax Exemption has been rescheduled for 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, February 26, in Greeley’s Academic Commons.  Assistant Superintendent for Business John Chow has estimated that enactment of the exemption might cost an average $60 per property, per year.

As a follow-up to my article published on February 3, again we encourage members of the community to attend the meeting at 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, February 26, and give us feedback.  Because there is a legislative deadline of March 1st there is a distinct possibility that the Board will be voting on a resolution either at the hearing or later that evening at the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

The CCSD Board of Education is tasked with making a decision on whether or not to pass a resolution that would enact the Veterans Tax Exemption as described above.  This is the first time that school districts in New York are able to make this election.  We would like to get as much feedback as possible from the community—including veterans and Gold Star families—on the matter. 

Please come and let us know your thoughts.  If you cannot make the meeting but would still like to comment, please either email the School Board at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), call the district at 238-7200 (ask for the District Clerk—Theresa Markley) or write. to us at 66 Roaring Brook Road Chappaqua, NY 10514.  While we do not accept anonymous submissions, all submissions can be held in confidence at the submitter’s request.

We would also like to note that at the February 26th meeting, The District will be unveiling its proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year.  We do anticipate, once again, coming in below the tax cap.  Please plan on attending the February 26th meeting.

Jeffrey S. Mester
Board of Education
Chappaqua Central School District

Press release from the district:


Convene Public Hearing at 8:15 p.m

Appoint District Clerk Pro temp

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Public Hearing on Alternative Veterans Exemption Resolution


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Education of the Chappaqua Central School District shall hold a public hearing on the fifth day of February, 2014, at 8:15 P.M., at the Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, New York, for the purpose of discussion of the Board of Education adopting the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption pursuant to §458-a of the Real Property Tax Law for eligible veterans who served during a period of war or have received an expeditionary medal for assessment rolls prepared on the basis of the taxable status dates occurring on or after January 1, 2014.

The following are the components of the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption:

Basic Exemption: Tax exemption of 15% of the assessed value of the property, not to exceed $12,000 or the product of $12,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit, whichever is less.

Combat Zone: For veterans who are documented to have served in a combat zone an additional tax exemption of 10% percent of the assessed value of the property, not to exceed $8,000 or the product of $8,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, whichever is less.

Disabled Veterans: Where the veteran received a compensation rating from the Veterans’ Administration or Department of Defense based upon a service related disability, an additional tax exemption on the qualifying residential property to the extent of the product of the assessed value multiplied by 50% of the veteran’s disability rating, not to exceed $40,000 or the product of $40,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate, whichever is less.


We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

I am a Vietnam era veteran who approves of this exemption and would find it very helpful.
Thank You
Richard Berman
151 Seven Bridges Road

By Richard Berman on 02/03/2014 at 11:58 am

My husband is also a Vietnam era veteran who would very much like to see this exemption.

By PJ on 02/03/2014 at 1:37 pm

I am also a Vietnam era veteran who also approves of the proposed
exemption and would find it helpful.
Thank you
Robert Bruno
38 Joan DR

By robert bruno on 02/03/2014 at 3:00 pm

Sell Bell and give the vets an exemption for years to come.

By tax relief on 02/04/2014 at 12:22 pm

I get that this is helpful to the veterans and their families (lower taxes!), but can they or anyone tell me how to justify this transfer of taxes from them to the rest of the town?

By Trying to Justify and Support on 02/04/2014 at 2:52 pm

I am in full support of the Veterans Tax Exemption Resolution.

By roberta galant on 02/04/2014 at 3:11 pm

So long as there is a household income limitation similar to the senior citizen exemption.

By moderation on 02/05/2014 at 8:44 am

As a Vietnam Vet, who served 5 1/2 yrs. in the US Army I am in full support of this exemption.  I just wonder why it hadn’t been enacted when the municipal tax exemption was passed years ago.

I was going to respond to “By trying to justify” but given the comment it simply isn’t worth the trouble.  If the writer doesn’t understand then they probably never will.

By Jim McCauley on 02/05/2014 at 1:37 pm

I agree that as a society we should recognize and support the contributions and sacrifices of verterans.  However I dont think that it makes economic sense for this to be done at the town or school district level. We have an enormous burden and it strikes me as unfair for the town and school district to pass the burdens of living here off to those who have not served in the military.

By I’m with Trying to Justify on 02/05/2014 at 6:33 pm

our wonderful vets receive many benefits to which they are entitled. to eliminate redundancy, there should be a household limitation on income for threshold purposes. $100,000 or similar to senior citizen income limits.

By reality check on 02/05/2014 at 7:34 pm

Can you please tell us how many people this would impact and the financial impact of this.  Seems like basic info that should be included in article.

By More info on 02/05/2014 at 11:30 pm

I too am a Vietnam War veteran on limited income and it does matter greatly, we can use and certainly deserve a break from taxes

By Vietnam Vet on limited income on 02/06/2014 at 11:38 am

@more info: The article does say it.  $60 per property tax bill.  If there are 5,000 of those, that amounts to $300,000 reduction to those who qualify. Sweet.  I would assume that the number of vets or GS families that receive this would be the same as claim it on their municipal taxes.  The Town Clerk will know that.

Mr. McCauley, thank you for your service to our nation.  You are a brave man as evidenced by you early support for Chappaqua Crossing in addition to your time in our service.  But, if you cannot answer the question about why those eligible should be getting this exemption, your excuse about if I don’t know by now I’ll never know is condescending and off base.  I asked the question in good faith with all sincerity.  If you won’t answer it, I hope someone else will.

God Bless.

By Trying to Justify and Support on 02/06/2014 at 1:14 pm

How do you all justify using others to fight your wars and protect you ?

By agree with McCauley on 02/06/2014 at 5:18 pm

I support the exemption. I suppose that an income threshold makes sense but that should be looked at carefully. For younger veterans supporting a family, a household threshold might need to be a little higher. By the way, do our volunteer firefighters and paramedics receive any kind of reduction on their taxes. That would also make a lot of sense.

By Athena K on 02/06/2014 at 6:24 pm

Reasoned exemption under $50000 seems fair.  Isn’t that the senior value?
Veteran help is largely federal , as it should always be available.  School districts , which are not governments the sense that do not govern or make laws. they are too small and remote political subdivision to have its small population of residents subsidize those who have served and benefitted the entire country.  The smallest level should be the county.  The district Should defer to those law makers.

By Income based yes on 02/07/2014 at 10:53 am

Reservists and non combatants should be excluded

By Paul G on 02/07/2014 at 10:55 am

I have several Vets in my family yet I cannot support this additional tax on non-vet families at this particular time. There are a lot of families struggling to meet basic needs and although it doesn’t seem like a lot of money per month, coupled with increasing school taxes and county/town taxes it becomes an additional hardship. The exception is disabled Vets. They should not pay any property taxes at all.

By Kathy k on 02/11/2014 at 4:55 pm

We support the exemption for Vets.  It is an honorable thing for the town to do.

By In support of Vet exemption on 02/21/2014 at 9:32 pm

I agree that disabled veterans should be afforded every possible benefit, including a property tax break like this proposed. But otherwise, I don’t think the school district should be in the business of handing out tax exemptions to veterans, or firefighters, or school teachers, or non-profit workers, or municipal employees, or … well, where do you draw the line?

By Concur with Kathy on 02/25/2014 at 4:25 pm

Unfortunately this meeting will not be able to be viewed live for those of us who are unable to personally attend the meeting because the school board refuses to stream or televise it.

By why not ? on 02/26/2014 at 2:55 pm

It is unfortunate that the town contains people with a green eyeshade mentality who have no comprehension of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families for the benefit of the greater community.  PASS THIS EXEMPTION.

By TJO’C (formerly Capt. USAF, Vietnam era) on 02/26/2014 at 4:04 pm

I agree with the comments about household income thresholds. The income limitation should mimic those for seniors, to keep it fair.
It seems to me that A wealthy veteran, doesn’t ‘need’ the exemption to
live here.

I thank all our veterans and am glad that they get a full panoply of other benefits which they richly deserve.

By common sense on 02/27/2014 at 10:59 pm

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