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AG proposes new property tax break for active duty military

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A new piece of legislation would allow active duty military members and their spouses to cut hundreds of dollars off their property taxes each year.

The Tax Relief for Active Military Service, introduced Thursday by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, would allow service members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Reserve to apply for a tax exemption of 10 percent of the assessed value of their home, up to $10,000 in home value. In addition, service members who have served in a combat zone could receive an additional 10 percent exemption, capped at $8,000 in value.

“Soldiers and their families make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of all Americans,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement released with the announced legislation. “Just as they fight for us, New York State can support these brave men and women by easing the burdens of home ownership.”

The legislation would have the exemptions processed through local tax assessors, and the state would reimburse localities for the revenues lost by the exemption. The bill is expected to cost the state approximately $2 million per year.

The newly proposed benefits for active duty service members, if approved, would be in addition to the property tax savings already offered to military veterans. The attorney general’s news release said that many service members staying in the state could see their property taxes “graduate” from the savings while on active duty to the benefits provided to veterans.

The state allows for a 15 percent property tax exemption for all veterans, and an additional 10 percent for those who have served in a combat zone. Communities with ZIP codes in the 136 region have 2,476 retirees from all military branches who would be eligible for the exemption, according to the Fort Drum 2012 Economic Impact Statement released in March.

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