[Adopted 11-24-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008]
The Town Board finds that the New York State Legislature has enacted § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law. That section authorizes local governments to adopt a local law granting to qualifying Cold War veterans a real property tax exemption as authorized therein.
The Town Board hereby enacts this article in order to ensure the benefits of this property tax exemption to qualifying veterans who served our Town during the Cold War period as defined in § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law. Any Cold War veteran so qualifying shall be eligible for the exemption upon filing with the Assessor a form prescribed by the Office of Real Property Services on or before the first appropriate taxable status date.
Qualified residential real property owned by a Cold War veteran, as defined in New York State Real Property Tax Law § 458-b, or spouse of a Cold War veteran, or unremarried surviving spouse of a Cold War veteran shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of 15% of the assessed value of such property; provided, however, that such exemption shall in no event exceed $12,000 or the product of $12,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the Town of Tonawanda, whichever is less.
Where the Cold War veteran received a compensation rating from the United States Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Defense due to a service-connected disability, the qualifying residential real property will be exempt from taxation to the extent of the product of the assessed value multiplied by 50% of the disability rating; provided, however, that such exemption shall not exceed $40,000 or the product of $40,000 multiplied by the current equalization rate for the Town of Tonawanda.
Qualified residential real property is property that is used exclusively for residential purposes and is the primary residence of the Cold War veteran, or his or her unremarried surviving spouse, unless the Cold War veteran or unremarried surviving spouse is absent from the property due to medical reasons or institutionalization for up to five years. In the event any portion of such property is not used exclusively for the applicant's residence, said portion shall be subject to taxation but the remaining portion shall be entitled to the exemption provided herein.
This exemption applies to general Town and part-Town taxes, but does not extend to special assessments or special district charges.
This exemption shall be granted for a period of not more than 10 years, with the procedure for determining the commencement dates of the time period as prescribed in § 458-b of New York State Real Property Tax Law.
In the event a Cold War veteran is receiving an exemption under § 458 or § 458-a of New York State Real Property Tax Law at the time of application, he or she is not eligible for this exemption as well.
Application for such exemption shall be filed with the Assessor of the Town of Tonawanda on or before the taxable status date on a form as prescribed by the State Board.