Some Cold War veterans and senior citizens who live in Westhampton Beach will enjoy a break on their village property taxes this year, thanks to a resolution approved last week by the Village Board.
The resolution increases the amount of money that Cold War veterans and senior citizens can earn in a year while still remaining eligible to have a percentage of the assessed valuation of their homes be exempt from village property taxes. Those who qualify for the break will enjoy a decrease in their taxes starting this year.
Under the new legislation, senior citizens and Cold War veterans who make less than $36,400 per year will see their assessed home valuations decrease anywhere between 5 percent and 50 percent, depending on their income level, explained Westhampton Beach Village Deputy Clerk Christine Owen. The tax exemption percentage is determined on a sliding scale, Ms. Owen explained.
Prior to the legislation, only those Cold War veterans and senior citizens who earned less than $35,500 a year qualified for the tax exemption.
“The purpose of this legislation is to … provide the greatest benefit allowable under state law to senior citizens and Cold War veterans on their local real property taxes,” the legislation states.
The resolution defines a Cold War veteran as someone who served on active duty for more than 365 days in the U.S. Armed Forces from September 2, 1945, until December 26, 1991. A senior citizen is defined as a person at least 65 years of age.
The trustees also decided during last week’s meeting that they would not give $9,000 to Southampton Town to help fund Sea-TV, a public access channel. Westhampton Beach public meetings are shown on the channel, though the village employs Black Sheep Television to record them.
Southampton Town Board member Nancy Graboski solicited the village for money last fall.