Too often our veterans, those who put their lives on the line so that we Americans can continue to enjoy our freedoms and our way of life, are forgotten or given infrequent and non-substantial lip service.  Whether our veterans return from service visibly impaired as a result of the terrible horrors of battle, or they are scarred emotionally or psychologically for the rest of their lives, or whether they simply gave of their time to support the needs of those in combat — in decency and fairness we owe it to them all to show our appreciation in ways that have some tangible impact.

There is currently a resolution in the State Legislature (A. 514 /S. 3872) that will amend the State Real Property Tax Law so that the Veterans Property Tax Exemption would be tied exclusively to the assessed value of their home and property.  Such a regulation seems logical and obvious, but currently the veterans’ exemption is tied unnecessarily and unfairly to the local school tax rate, which fluctuates widely from year to year because it is tied to the diminishing amount of federal and state education aid, which also vary from year to year resulting in a reduced tax exemption for our veterans who forced, therefore, to bear the burden of an unfair proportion of property taxation.  Other property tax exemptions currently in effect in our state are not tied to the school tax, and neither should the Veterans Exemption.

The City Council has passed a resolution (No. 1735) fully endorsing the measure in the State Legislature.  We applaud the action of the Council and we join its members in the endorsement of S. 3872/A. 514.  We specifically ask that our representatives in Albany pass this very appropriate resolution in appreciation and recognition of the invaluable service rendered by this State’s veterans.