For Immediate Release: November 11, 2013
Schneiderman: Veterans Day Reminds Us All Of The Enormous Debt We Owe To Those Who Serve In Our Armed Forces
(NEW YORK) This Veterans Day, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman published an op-ed in the Journal News on recognizing the sacrifices of our veterans and active-duty service members by easing the financial burdens they carry for keeping us safe. The op-ed details the Attorney General’s efforts to ensure all combat veterans receive the valuable property tax breaks to which they are entitled. It also describes his recently proposed TRAMS (Tax Relief for Active Military Service) Act to provide those same tax benefits to military families whose primary provider is still serving overseas. The following are excerpts from the op-ed:
ON THE TRAMS ACT: Part of the burden for New York families of active-duty servicemen and -women is a property-tax bill that can run into thousands of dollars a year. This can pose a tremendous hardship for New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet while their primary breadwinner is defending our country. That’s why my office has drafted a program bill — the TRAMS Act, Tax Relief for Active Military Service — to provide a real property-tax exemption of 10 percent of assessed value to active-duty military members serving during wartime, plus an additional 10 percent for those serving in a combat zone.
ON HIS WORK AS A NYS SENATOR ON BEHALF OF VETERANS: As a state senator, I fought to extend this tax benefit to all combat veterans who own a home in New York — regardless of where or when they served. When it comes to critical veterans benefits, there should be one set of rules for everyone. It shouldn’t matter where you served or when — just that you served.
ON PROTECTING VETERANS’ LEGALLY ENTITLED BENEFITS: As with federal veterans’ benefits, New York classifies all military service over the last 23 years as having taken place during the “Persian Gulf War” period. So my office has issued a letter to county property-tax officials across the state making it clear that veterans of our armed forces who have served during the last 23 years, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, do indeed qualify and instructing them to grant the tax exemptions. This will help ensure that any veterans who were improperly denied will not end up paying thousands of dollars they didn’t really owe.
ON VETERANS DAY: Veterans Day reminds us all of the enormous debt we owe to those who serve in our armed forces. It is in recognition of their sacrifice, and a measure of the gratitude that all New Yorkers feel toward our servicemen and -women, that we should help ease the burden they carry for keeping us safe.
The full op-ed by Attorney General Schneiderman can be read here.
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