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N. Collins school board OKs veterans’ tax exemption

Military veterans who own property can look forward to a tax exemption in the North Collins Central School District.

The Board of Education unanimously adopted the veterans’ tax exemption Tuesday night in front of a crowd that included American Legion members in the high school’s library.

Veterans thanked the board for allowing the exemption. Board members chose the maximum exemption amounts the state government allows.

The state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo established a partial veterans’ exemption for county, city, town and village property taxes, then revised the law in December to include school districts. There is no reimbursement, however, to the districts for the lost revenue.

Three residents spoke during a public hearing on Oct. 14. No one commented on the proposal Tuesday night.

In another matter, Superintendent Joan Thomas asked the board to consider raising the pay rate for certified substitute teachers from $80 to $85 per day.

“That would make us more competitive,” she said.

Some districts in Western New York pay $70 per day while others pay as much as $100. Thomas stressed that some substitutes have rejected assignments in favor of the Lake Shore, Frontier or Gowanda school districts, which pay $95 each day.

Board members may vote on the change during their next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the high school’s library. They could also increase the rate for non-certified teachers from $70 to $75 per day.

Officials also appointed Vincent Fininzio and David Burgstahler as co-coaches for the girls modified basketball team.

Burgstahler, who normally coaches the team, requested a co-coach because of an injury that prevents him from running or jumping, Thomas told the board.

She described him as “limping,” “in pain” and “wearing a boot.”