Veterans living in the Frontier Central School District could see their taxes go down 18 percent if the School Board adopts one type of property tax exemption.
Under that scenario, school taxes for other property owners would go up 2 percent.
Nancy Snyder of Erie County Real Property Tax Services detailed the program for the board, which is considering the veterans exemption.
There are 2,117 veterans in the district already receiving the alternative veterans exemption on their Hamburg and Eden town taxes and Erie County taxes, she said. Another 297 vets have another type of exemption, pro-rata, and there are other veterans who are not receiving exemptions who could apply for the alternate veterans exemption.
Snyder based her cost calculations on the exemption level that would give non-combat veterans an exemption up to $18,000 on their house, combat veterans up to $30,000, and a disabled veteran up to $60,000. There board also could consider lower levels of exemption.
Any exemption would shift the tax burden to other property owners. Snyder said it could result in a decrease of about $33 million in assessment value for the district.
Taxes on a house with a market value of $150,000 are $2,135, Snyder said. A veteran could save $392, or 18.3 percent on his taxes, while the bill for a parcel of the same value without the exemption would go up $43.72, or 2 percent.
Snyder said 25 of the 32 school districts in the county have approved some level of exemption,
Board members took no position on the exemption Tuesday.
"You have to have a public hearing if you're considering adopting it," said Carolyn Robertson, assistant superintendent for business.
"I'm pretty sure we'll adopt it – the people voted in May," Board Member Martin Lalka said.
Voters came out overwhelmingly in favor of the district offering veterans a partial property tax exemption on their school taxes, according to a straw poll conducted by the district on election day in May.
Those already receiving the alternate exemption on town and county taxes would automatically receive the school tax exemption, but others would have to apply. Snyder recommended making a decision by January, so veterans would have time to sign up.