School property tax relief is coming next school year for veterans living in the Oysterponds School District.
The school board voted 4-1 at last Tuesday’s meeting to approve the exemption, which is expected to increase property taxes for all other district residents by about $17 annually. Jeff Demarest voted no and Krista de Kerillis was absent.
While property tax exemptions for veterans have been in effect statewide since the 1980s, they have until now applied only to the county and town portions of a veteran’s tax bill. In 2013, the state Legislature approved an amendment expanding the program to school districts, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law.
Southold and Shoreham-Wading River are the only local school districts that adopted the exemption in time for the current fiscal year.
In addition to Oysterponds, the Mattituck and Riverhead school boards have recently approved the exemption for 2015-16.
Oysterponds school officials estimate that 146 veterans who could qualify for the program live within the district.