[Adopted 3-12-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
It is the intent of this article to:
Authorize a limited exemption from real property taxes for residential real property owned by veterans who rendered military service to the United States during the Cold War and their surviving spouses pursuant to § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law; and
Establish a maximum exemption amount thereunder.
This article shall be entitled "A Local Law Providing for Tax Exemptions for Town of Austerlitz Cold War Veterans Pursuant to § 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACTIVE DUTY
- Full-time duty in the United States Armed Forces, other than active duty for training.
- ARMED FORCES
- The United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
- COLD WAR VETERAN
- A person, male or female, who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during the time period from September 2, 1945, to December 26, 1991, and was discharged or released therefrom under honorable conditions.
- LATEST STATE EQUALIZATION RATE
- The latest final equalization rate established by the State Board.
- QUALIFIED OWNER
- A Cold War veteran, the spouse of a Cold War veteran, or the unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased Cold War veteran. Where property is owned by more than one qualified owner, the exemption to which each is entitled may be combined. Where a veteran is also the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran, such person may also receive any exemption to which the deceased spouse was entitled.
- QUALIFIED RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY
- Property owned by a qualified owner which is used exclusively for residential purposes; provided, however, that in the event that any portion of such property is not used exclusively for residential purposes, but is used for other purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation, and only the remaining portion used exclusively for residential purposes shall be subject to the exemption provided by this article. Such property shall be the primary residence of the Cold War veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse of a Cold War veteran, unless the Cold War veteran or unremarried surviving spouse is absent from the property due to medical reasons or institutionalization.
- With respect to disability or death, such disability was incurred or aggravated, or the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in the line of duty on active military, naval or air service.
A qualifying residential real property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of 15% of the assessed value of such property; provided, however, that such exemption shall not exceed the lesser of $12,000 or the product of $12,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the Town of Austerlitz.
In addition to the exemption provided by Subsection A of this section, where the Cold War veteran received a compensation rating from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or from the United States Department of Defense because of a service-connected disability, qualifying residential real property shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of the product of the assessed value of such property, multiplied by 50% of the Cold War veteran disability rating; provided, however, that such exemption shall not exceed the lesser of $40,000 or the product of $40,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the Town of Austerlitz.
The exemption from taxation provided by this article shall be applicable to Town taxation only and shall not be applicable to taxes levied for school purposes, special ad valorem levies or special assessments.
If a Cold War veteran receives the exemption under any other section of the Real Property Tax Law, the Cold War veteran shall not be eligible to receive the exemption under this article.
The exemption provided by § 175-16A of this article shall be granted for a period of 10 years. The commencement of such ten-year period shall be governed pursuant to this section. Where a qualified owner owns qualifying residential real property on the effective date of this article, such ten-year period shall be measured from the assessment roll prepared pursuant to the first taxable status date occurring on or after the effective date of this article. Where a qualified owner does not own qualifying residential real property on the effective date of this article, such ten-year period shall be measured from the assessment roll prepared pursuant to the first taxable status date occurring at least 60 days after the date of purchase of qualifying residential real property; provided, however, that should the veteran apply for and be granted an exemption on the assessment roll prepared pursuant to a taxable status date occurring within 60 days after the date of purchase of residential real property, such ten-year period shall be measured from the first assessment roll in which the exemption occurs. If, before the expiration of such ten-year period, such exempt property is sold and replaced with other residential real property, such exemption may be granted pursuant to this article for the unexpired portion of the ten-year exemption period.
Application for exemption shall be made by the owner, or all of the owners, of the property on a form prescribed by the State Board. The owner or owners shall file the completed form in the Assessor's office on or before the first appropriate taxable status date. The exemption shall continue in full force and effect for all appropriate subsequent tax years, and the owner or owners of the property shall not be required to refile each year. Applicants shall be required to refile on or before the appropriate taxable status date if the percentage of disability percentage increases or decreases or may refile if other changes have occurred which affect qualification for an increased or decreased amount of exemption. Any applicant convicted of willfully making any false statement in the application for such exemption shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in the Penal Law.
This article shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State and shall apply to assessment rolls prepared on the basis of taxable status dates occurring on or after such date.