County approves veterans tax exemption
PENN YAN--The Yates County Legislature voted Friday, Dec. 29 to approve a local law authorizing an alternative tax exemption for cold war veterans.
Cold war veterans, as defined by the state of New York, includes military service rendered from Sept. 2, 1945 through Dec. 26, 1991.
The exemption is in the amount of 10 percent of the assessed value of a property, provided that the exemption does not exceed $4,000 or the product of $4,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate of the property's assessing unit and the exemption is subject to the definitions, limitations and requirements of subsection 458-b of New York State Real Property Tax Law.
In addition, for a veteran who has received a service-connected disability rating from the Veteran's Administration or the U.S. Department of Defense, there is an exemption which is equal to one-half of the disability rating, multiplied by the assessed value of the property with an exemption of up to $20,000.
Meghan Kincaid, director for Yates County real property tax services said, "People will still apply for this at their local town municipality. This exemption applies to the county portion of their taxes."
The county resolution, if approved, reads that this local law will take effect immediately upon its filing with the Secretary of State and will be applicable to all assessment rolls prepared for the first taxable status date after the effective date.
The legislature also approved a residency requirement for the position of Yates County Public Defender. The new law requires candidates for the position to live within Yates County or an adjoining county (to Yates) within the state.
The lawmakers approved the 2018 town tax rates. The rates include: Barrington: $6.67, Benton: $6.74, Italy: $6.88, Jerusalem: $7.41, Middlesex: $7.44, Milo: $6.87, Potter: $6.92, Starkey: $6.71 and Torrey: $6.74.
In other key business:
The legislature added 136.75 acres from parcels of land within Yates County to Agricultural District I. The state allows this designation to protect and promote the availability of land for farming purposes. In addition, the parcels of land will be eligible for tax exempt status.
Legislature Chairman Timothy Dennis returned from a medical leave and thanked fellow legislators who served during his term as chair. (Dennis announced in December that he would not seek reelection to the chairman position in 2018). Dennis also recognized Legislators Mark Morris, Taylor Fitch and Jim Smith for their service to the county as they completed their terms at the end of the year. Dennis then reviewed some of the key accomplishments during the past four years of his term. Dennis said the Penn Yan area flood of 2014 brought to light the resiliency and positive character of the community. Other highlights included the dark fiber network for county residents, the completion of the brownfield clean-up and development at the former Penn Yan Marine site, the re-fitting and re-powering of the Greenidge power station, the transition of top management at the county level in regard to the county administrator position, and the continuing local adaptation required for the county to stay within state-mandated tax caps. Dennis also highlighted the development of the new county-wide transit service.
Looking forward, the chairman said the county will need to address the aging infrastructure at the county jail and the highway department. Dennis said the second concern he sees is the potential for harmful algal blooms to seriously impact our public health, safety and quality of life.
Dennis received a standing applause from the legislators and said he looks forward to working with the new leadership of the group.