Clavin, King Sweeney And Dunne Help Cold War Veterans Keep Important Property Tax Break, New Legislation Makes Exemption Permanent

Issued by: Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin

With the clock ticking for many local heroes who receive the Cold War Veterans Exemption, the Hempstead Town Board today approved legislation that makes the property tax break permanent for this group of heroic homeowners living in America’s largest township. The legislation crafted by Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr. eliminated a 10-year “sunset” clause for the exemption, preserving the important property tax break for the Town of Hempstead’s Cold War-era veterans.

New York State law had limited the Cold War Veterans Exemption to 10 years, until Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation authorizing local jurisdictions to “opt in” and grant the exemption permanently as long as the veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse remains a homeowner. Currently, there are 1,500 recipients of the Cold War Veterans Exemption in the Town of Hempstead, which provides up to a 15 percent reduction for eligible recipients. Clavin, King Sweeney, Dunne and fellow Hempstead Town Board members announced the legislation in February, alongside veterans, at the Levittown VFW Post. No. 9592.

“Like I said when we introduced the legislation last month, there should never be an expiration date when it comes to helping our brave veterans,” Clavin said. “Now that it has been approved, this legislation preserves an important tax break for our over 1,500 heroic homeowners who served during a crucial period of our nation’s history.”

“By making this tax break permanent, this legislation provides our Cold War-era veterans with peace of mind that their exemption will not be subject to a ‘sunset’ clause,” King Sweeney said. “This is one way that we, as town officials, can support the veterans who do so much for us by protecting the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America.”

“No veteran should ever be left behind, and that includes the thousands in our township who served during the Cold War era,” Dunne said. “They deserve a permanent property tax break as much as any of our other veterans, and we’re proud to preserve the vital exemption.”

The Cold War Veterans Exemption was originally passed by the Town of Hempstead in April of 2008. Without legislation to extend the property tax break, recipients of the Cold War Veterans Tax exemption would lose it after a 10-year period.

King Sweeney and Dunne presented the bill at the Town Board meeting on February 20th and called for a public hearing at the March 6th meeting. The measure was approved by the Town Board during the March 6th meeting. 

“In honor of my late husband, a proud veteran of World War II, I’m proud to support measures that help those who protect our way of life as Americans,” Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby said. “My dad was a proud veteran, and it’s an honor to pay tribute to his service by voting for this legislation,” Councilman Ed Ambrosino said.

“I dedicate this vote to my dad, and all of the veterans who risk everything to protect our safety and freedom as Americans,” Councilman Bruce Blakeman said. “I proudly support this legislation that transforms a temporary tax break into a permanent one for our brave Cold War veterans,” Councilman Anthony D’Esposito said.

Veterans who could be eligible for the tax break include those who served in active military, naval or air service of the United States between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 and their surviving spouses who have not remarried and maintain their primary residences within the Town of Hempstead.

For full eligibility requirements and an application, call the Nassau County Department of Assessment at (516) 571-1500. Applications and instructions can also be attained at the Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes webpage at https://toh.li/tax-exemptions/veterans.

“I thank my colleagues on the Town Board, especially the bill’s co-sponsors – Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Councilman Dennis Dunne – for supporting this crucial legislation that allows our heroic Cold War veterans to keep this important property tax break,” Clavin said. “Their support prevented our veterans from losing out on significant and well-deserved savings on their property taxes.”