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Cold War veterans want exemption

JERUSALEM—The possibility of property tax exemptions for Cold War veterans was raised during the meeting of the Jerusalem town board on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Earlier this month the Village Board in Dundee was also approached with the same request.
Town resident Phillip Hanna Sr. brought the request to the board. The main question asked by board members was that they would like to know more about the potential impact on town taxes. Supervisor Daryl Jones said the town had discussed a tax exemption in 2008. His feeling is that a veteran is a veteran. One unknown is the number that could potentially take advantage of the exemption. Yates County Veteran’s Services Director P. Earle Gleason said it is hard to get numbers. Cold War veterans do not usually contact his office for services.
Councilman Ray Stewart said he was in when war was declared. He said, “I think you should be treated the same.” Jones said he would like to know if other municipalities are discussing this type of exemption. He suggested publicity would help learn how many Cold War veterans might live in the town. Yates County Legislator Douglas Paddock told the board the municipality does not lose the tax when an exemption is granted. It is spread among the rest of residents.
In other business: The board heard updates on the issue of hydrofracking. This is the process of extracting gas from the ground using water pressure injected into the ground. There are two groups in the county studying the issue. Jones urged the groups to work together and provide a single report to the town board.
• Councilman Neil Simmons said he attended a meeting on workman’s compensation. Yates County has its own workman’s compensation group. Simmons said the big share of the premium is based on assessments. Simmons said he disagreed with that basis. Jerusalem has 21 miles of lakefront and $650 million in assessments. The premium is part of the Yates County tax and is applied when the tax bill goes out. The town’s cost is $70,000. Simmons said he asked Legislature Chairman Taylor Fitch if the town could get out of the county program. Fitch said the program, which began in 1956, was based on spreading the risk among municipalities. Jerusalem has had a low average cost per year for claims. Fitch said there may be a meeting with municipalities on the issue. He said, “We will try to get something everyone can agree on.”
• The Route 54A subcommittee has met on zoning. Stewart said the planning board would like a public meeting regarding the proposal. A meeting has been tentatively scheduled Dec. 19 at the Modeste Bedient Library. Input will be sought from residents and the general community. Simmons suggested the town spend money on postage to send a letter to the people on the corridor. He said that would eliminate people saying they did not know about it.
• Public hearing on the proposed dog license law will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15.
The next meeting of the Jerusalem Town Board will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15 in the town hall on Italy Hill Road.




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