Tax Exemptions Update
February 8, 2023
Dear KLSD Community,
As you are aware from previous communications, our Board of Education has been discussing various tax exemptions that NYS makes available to veterans, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. Eligible members of these groups have existing exemptions that allow for certain reductions in their property taxes. Within the last year, NYS has adopted new laws that allow local authorities to consider changes to these exemptions.
On February 2, 2023, our Board engaged in its second review of and discussion about the available data, including feedback provided by our community (through our recent survey). You can view here the data I presented to the Board.
The discussion is complex for many reasons, including the fact that while it is possible to project out what some of the increased exemptions will mean for non-exempt taxpayers, it is not possible to project out the impact of all exemptions. For example, it is not possible to know today how many senior citizens will be eligible for exemptions if income levels are revised.
We can project that, on average, the cumulative impact of all exemption changes for a non-exempt taxpayer would be at least $120 (in Lewisboro) and could be as high as $200 - $250, annually. In Bedford, it is anticipated these numbers will be comparable, but may be a little lower. We cannot predict numbers for Pound Ridge or North Salem, but suspect they will be comparable, too. Importantly, the numbers we have provided are approximate and will vary for individual taxpayers.
By the end of its discussion, the Board was inclined to move forward as follows:
- Senior citizens and persons with disabilities will be granted the newly available, higher income eligibility levels for access to exemptions.
- The years of service eligibility requirement for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers will be reduced from 5 to 2.
- The Alternative Veterans Exemption levels will be increased to the maximum available levels of tax exemption.
As of this writing, this is the Board’s thinking, and not yet a final decision. The BOE is required to hold a public hearing prior to adopting (and finalizing) any of these changes. That public hearing is scheduled for our next BOE meeting on February 23, 2023. If community members have questions or feedback, please reach out to our Board at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or you are welcome to attend our next meeting to share your thoughts and questions in-person.
I’d like to thank our local assessors for their collaboration and for providing the data necessary to move this discussion forward.
Andrew Selesnick, Superintendent of Schools