U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Department of Veteran Affairs notify returning veterans about property tax benefits made available to them in New York.
Schumer says out of 50,000 vets in Monroe County, only about 33,000 applied to receive New York's universal property tax exemption. The Democrat says there's a "disconnect between the Department of Veteran Affairs and citizens."
"The federal government has to do a better job to partner with Monroe County and ensure that veterans, returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere, are receiving critical benefits that allow them to afford and maintain a home and live a stable nice civilian life."
During a visit in Rochester on Tuesday, the Schumer laid out a three-pronged plan to ensure veterans receive all the benefits they deserve.
- Urge the Department of Veteran Affairs notify vets as they're being discharged about the tax exemption.
- Ask the V.A. to make a list of the veterans who applied for the loans.
- And work with the Internet Association, which represents Google, Facebook and Yahoo among others, to get the message out to younger vets.
The exemption provides tax reductions up to 35% on home assessments based on a number of factors. They include whether the veteran served in peace time or in combat, service connected disability and medals received. Schumer also emphasized that Cold War era veterans are eligible for a 10% or 15% reduction in the assessed value of their home while veterans who served in a time of war can receive a 15% reduction in assessed value.
Veterans can apply for the exemption at the Monroe County Office Building.