SCHENECTADY COUNTY — A tax exemption for Cold War veterans was made permanent Tuesday by the county Legislature.
Schenectady County representatives approved the exemption, which has existed in a temporary basis for the past decade. The move comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year signed a law allowing municipal governments to do so. Towns and counties across the state have been making the exemption permanent in recent weeks.
"Schenectady County is proud to continue our support for our residents who have served in the military during the Cold War," said Legislator Holly Vellano, C-Rotterdam, who is the county's veterans' advocate. "Our veterans served this country faithfully and deserve our support and assistance."
The exemption was first enacted in 2008, but the law authorizing it expired after 10 years.
To be eligible for the exemption, a veteran must have been a member of the military service with an honorable discharge and have served between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991.
Veterans are generally entitled to a 10 to 15 percent reduction in the assessment of their main residences under the program, though homeowners with a service-related disability may qualify for a larger reduction.
There are 467 properties in Schenectady County that have the exemption, and county officials estimate the average Cold War veteran saves about $100 annually. Veterans who already have the exemption don't need to do anything, though anyone applying for it for the first time will need to apply to their local town, city or village assessor.