Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Assemblywoman Pheffer Announces Increased Tax Exemptions for Cold War Veterans

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer (D-Queens) is please to announce a new law (Ch. 235 of 2009), effective Jan. 2, 2010, which provides an opportunity for municipalities to choose to offer increased property tax exemptions for veterans pursuant to section 458-b of the real property tax law and to also allow such veterans who reside in cooperative apartments to benefit from property tax exemptions when they are tenant-stockholders of cooperative apartment corporations.

“This past November marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and with its passing came a reminder of the dedication and service of Cold War veterans. That is why it was vital that my colleagues and I in the New York State Assembly led the way on a law to increase tax exemptions for Cold War veterans,” said Pheffer.

New York State has a host of benefits for veterans and their families, like the state’s Homes for Veterans Program, which offers fixed-rate, low-interest mortgages to veterans and their spouses through the New York State Mortgage Agency (SONYMA). There are also annuity payments for Gold Star parents, scholarships, burial allowances, and restrictions on foreclosure actions. New York State also offers the Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption to provide a partial exemption to wartime veterans, veterans who received expeditionary medals or the spouses of qualified veterans. This new law takes it another step further by expanding availability to all Cold War veterans.

The Cold War lasted 46 years from 1945 to 1991. Our Cold War veterans endured tense times and served during two wars, both the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Their service kept our nation secure, and their sacrifice made peace a reality for all of us. This law lends support for countless veterans, many of whom are retired and in financial situations where every little bit helps.

“The Assembly has always strived to go beyond a salute to our veterans and address the increasingly complex circumstances of those who defend our families and freedom. We are committed to providing our veterans with the help and support they deserve when they are home,” said Pheffer. “I am hopeful that New York City will take advantage of this opportunity and offer this important tax exemption to our veterans.”

Veterans exemplify the principles and ideals of democracy. Their work made events like the falling of the Berlin Wall possible and helped unite nations for the cause of freedom. Our world would be a very different place without their tireless efforts.

Visit for more information about state programs for veterans.