NYC Veterans Property Tax Exemption Issues

PROBLEM: New York State appears to offer a reduction in assessed property value for veteran homeowners, with rates between 15% and 25% based on wartime and combat service eligibility criteria. In New York City’s five boroughs, this results in eligible veteran homeowners being told they “only have to pay school tax.” Yet those tax rates have ballooned by more than 60% since 2003; the current school tax rate (which veterans must pay) is 11.5%. A 2013 NYS law, however, gives school districts the option of adopting the tax exemption for veterans, which NYC’s school district has not yet explored. Additionally, differences between property tax exemptions offered by NYS and NYC for veterans are confusing and difficult to understand.

PROPOSAL: The NYC Veterans Alliance proposes a working group to clarify existing NYS and NYC veterans property tax exemption policy and its impacts on qualifying NYC veteran homeowners and propose next steps to NYC and NYS officials to implement policies that achieve true tax relief for qualifying NYC veterans as intended by law.

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Protecting Veteran & Military Status in NYC Human Rights Law

From our first policy agenda meeting last September to our Policy Design Workshop in December, follow-on group "Draft" workshops in January, and community responses to our 2016 surveys--it has been clear that veterans, military members, and their families are facing a wide range of challenges that can and must be addressed at the local level. But foundational to all of these issues is one key absence: veterans and military members are not included as protected categories of persons in NYC's human rights law.

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At Last! Cuomo Signs Veterans Equality Act Into Law

BREAKING!! Governor Cuomo has at last signed the Veterans Equality Act into law, rectifying NY State's pension system for veterans who have honorably served our nation in recent decades and across the globe. This comes after two vetoes and his office's lobbying against it. Our voices were heard, and we're proud to have been key players in this year's drive toward passing this legislation!

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Dare to Lead with NYC Veterans Alliance and VoteRunLead!

The NYC Veterans Alliance is proud to announce our partnership with VoteRunLead to urge veterans and their spouses to get ready to run for elected office. Women in particular often need an extra push to view themselves as qualified, capable candidates, so we are truly thrilled to open up VRL’s daylong Dare to Lead women’s leadership conference to women who have served in any branch of the military, as well as women who are spouses (or widows) of a military member or veteran.

 

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Testimony on Toxic Exposure Research Act and Burn Pit Legislation

On April 21, the NYC Veterans Alliance presented testimony before the NYC Council Committee on Veterans on proposed Resolution 579-A calling on Congress to pass and the President to sign the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015. We were the only organization other than the Vietnam Veterans of America to present testimony at this hearing, and the testimony itself was followed by an informative, in-depth discussion of the toxic exposures of Vietnam, Desert Storm, and OEF/OIF veterans.

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Update on Closure of VA Healthcare Center at 25 Chapel Street in Brooklyn

Today the Executive Director of the VA’s NY Harbor Healthcare System, Martina Parauda, spoke at the Veterans Forum held at the VA’s Healthcare Center at 25 Chapel Street, Brooklyn. Several months ago, NYHHS announced that they would be potentially closing the Healthcare Facility at 25 Chapel Street; today Ms. Parauda announced that they had received approval from the VA higher-ups in Washington, DC, to proceed with a plan to close this facility as  of June 30, 2016.

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Preliminary Results: 2016 NYC Veterans Surveys

Thanks to everyone who has already responded to our 2016 NYC Veterans Surveys! We hope that more veterans and spouses/partners in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, North Jersey, and Hudson Valley will take our surveys to better inform us (and our partner organizations) about what they’re experiencing. Our survey data will go directly toward improving policies and making resources more accessible for veterans, military members, and their families in the NYC area.

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Will Gov. Cuomo Fail Veterans Again?

Governor Cuomo vetoed the Veterans Equality Act just before Veterans Day last year--the second year in a row after our state lawmakers passed near-unanimous, bipartisan bills to update New York's outdated and unfair rules for career civil servants to "buy back" up to three years of pension credit in exchange for their honorable military service. Right now he has a chance to remedy this--but will he fail us yet again?

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2016 NYC Veterans Surveys

cover_small.jpgThe NYC Veterans Alliance, in partnership with Pathfinder, is pleased to release an important set of surveys that will help to assess the needs of the NYC veterans community. If you’re a veteran or military member, student veteran, or spouse or domestic partner of a veteran or military member in NYC or the NY Metro area, we hope you'll provide critical input on specific issue areas.

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Another Bill Signed, Another Pen for the NYC Veterans Alliance!

Another proud day for the NYC Veterans Alliance: we received our second bill-signing pen!

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This morning, Mayor de Blasio signed yet another bill we've supported into law. This is the FIFTH local law that the NYC Veterans Alliance helped to push through since we started last year, and we were the only organization in the room who actively advocated for its passage.

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