The News provided a glimpse at the savings for veterans in fifteen local school districts, Hamburg Schools was not mentioned. It appears that the Hamburg School District and Hamburg School Board is ignoring the alternative tax exemption for veterans.
|BUFFALO NEWS VETERANS SCHOOL TAX EXEMPTIONS|
The last time the citizens and veterans of Hamburg heard about the available tax savings for our brave men and women was one year ago. According to district records, there has been no discussion by the Hamburg School District nor the Hamburg School Board on this important matter since February, 2014.
At that time, Director of Administrative Services Barbara Sporyz reported that research and analysis needed to be done regarding the New York State Real Property Tax Law, section 458-a, which provides a limited exemption from real property taxes for real property owned by persons who rendered military service to the United States, provided such property meets the requirements set forth in the law.
So, Ms. Sporyz what's the hold up on the tax exemption conversation? Have you picked up the phone and called the assessors? What is the impact on the non-veteran tax-payers? It's clear there is a concern by some that, "if the parcel is exempt does the balance get picked up by the other taxpayers". The answer to that is, yes it does. But who cares? One wonders if these non-veteran folks who might be concerned about an uptick in their taxes gave any thought to what their lives might be like if our veterans didn't serve?
|February 2014 Hamburg Board Minutes|
In February 2014, the community was told there was not enough time to implement the the exemption of the 2014-15 school year. It remains perplexing why Hamburg has not addressed this important issue for the 2015-16 school year. Mrs. Sporyz claims she spoke to legal counsel regarding the exemption. At what cost to the taxpayer was that conversation? It seems to Concerned Hamburger, that the Hamburg School District is intentionally ducking this important tax break for military veterans. There is no need to speak to lawyers at $300.00 per hour. A simple "google" search or old fashioned telephone call to neighboring school districts might do the trick.
It's not rocket science, it's a process that is relatively simple. Lawyers are not needed to address the veterans' tax exemption. The fifteen or so districts mentioned in the Buffalo News article seemed to have little trouble figuring out what to do to make the veterans' exemption happen.
What is needed in Hamburg is a school community that recognizes and values the services and sacrifices of those who risk their lives so our freedom is secure.
Since last February, Ms. Sporyz has been promoted, tenured and given a generous raise. She makes over $125,000 with salary and benefits. Her business office has accumulated a record fund balance(district rainy day account)and at the same time cut teachers and staff positions , cut clubs and classes, pays two superintendents, and squandered 1/2 million dollars with Andy Freedman, Esq. et.al in the Forcucci witch hunt.
So, Mrs. Sporyz, what about the veterans? When will the Hamburg School Board spend time discussing this much deserved benefit for our brave citizens? Hamburg has many service personnel. The lamp posts in the village honor the brave ones among us. Hamburg Schools has produced hundreds of service personnel, some gave their lives in the service of this great nation. So, when will the Hamburg School Board do their job and bring the tax exemption benefit to a public hearing for a discussion, then adopt a resolution and vote?
The March 1, 2015 deadline is around the corner.
Here is a bit of background information on the New York State Real Property Tax Law, section 458-a
A resident home-owner who was honorably discharged after full-time active service during a time of war (dates as determined by NY State Taxation & Finance) in one of the 5 branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the surviving un-remarried spouse of such a veteran, or a Gold Star Parent is eligible. National Guard service is not considered to be active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. In general, reservists are also excluded unless they performed significant, full-time active duty. Those who served outside the time of war dates established by NY State may be eligible for the Cold War Veteran’s exemption, but they are not eligible for an exemption on school taxes.
Components of the alternative tax exemption are as follows:
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.