Albion Village Board will look at offering tax exemptions for veterans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 February 2018 at 8:15 am

ALBION – The Village Board is considering whether to offer a property tax exemption for veterans. If the veterans received a tax break, it would mean other village property owners would see an increase to make up the difference.

“I think we owe it to our veterans,” said Village Trustee Pete Sidari. “Let’s figure out a way.”

The board last month was asked to approve two tax exemptions for veterans. Earl Schmidt, director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County, said if the exemptions were passed by the Village Board, other village property owners would see their taxes increase by 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed property, or $18 for a house assessed at $60,000.

“We need to really look at this,” Village Trustee Eileen Banker said during a board meeting last week. “I know it’s hard to shift it to the other residents.”

Banker wants the board to further study the issue during budget negotiations. The village budget needs to be adopted by late April. There needs to be a public hearing for residents to comment on the exemptions before the board votes on it.

Village Trustee Stan Farone wants to see at what level the other municipalities are offering veterans for exemptions.

Schmidt asked that the Village Board to pass a veterans’ exemption that would provide about 15 percent off village taxes. Schmidt said there are 179 veterans in the village that would be eligible for the exemption.

He also asked that the village pass an exemption for Cold War era veterans that provides about 10 percent off taxes. There are 13 veterans in the village that would be eligible for that benefit.

With both exemptions, municipalities have the option of deciding maximum exemption levels so the amount of the exemptions can vary.

In other action at last week’s meeting, the Village Board:

• Accepted a $1,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation for its summer concert series. Albion was awarded the funds after Lori Laine, leader of the Albion Rocks group, submitted a video about Albion Rocks and the Concert Series.

That video was included in Community Across America’s “Video Clip Competition,” which offered $5,000 in prizes, with $2,000 the top award. Albion NY Rocks won the $1,000 second place prize.

• Approved Derek Hinman as a member of the Albion Fire Department.

• Appointed Amy Jenks as a member of the Planning Board.

• Appointed Loretta Tomasino to the Historic Preservation Commission.

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