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Active Military Members to Get Tax Benefit Afforded Vets, State Proposes

By Meredith Hoffman | November 7, 2013 9:52am
 U.S. soldiers sat by the Kuwait border in Iraq.
U.S. soldiers sat by the Kuwait border in Iraq.
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WILLIAMSBURG — Tax benefits currently afforded only to veterans could soon extend to New York's active members of the military and their families, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Active-duty military members and their families would receive the same 10 percent property tax exemption as veterans when they seek to buy homes in New York, new legislation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman proposes.

The tax exemption — called the TRAMS Act (Tax Relief for Active Military Service) — would be capped at $10,000 in most parts of the state, but would include an additional 10 percent exemption for active-duty members in combat zones, Schneiderman's office announced Thursday.

“Soldiers and their families make tremendous sacrifices on behalf of all Americans,” Schneiderman said. “Just as they fight for us, New York State can support these brave men and women by easing the burdens of home ownership.”

The legislation proposal (which must be approved by the New York State legislature and by the governor) follows another action by Schneiderman to clarify that veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also qualify for such an exemption.

Schneiderman sent a letter to all tax offices in New York last month confirming that veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were eligible for the tax exemption, after DNAinfo reported that confusing language was preventing some veterans from those wars from receiving the benefit.

Iraq veteran Danylo Rakowsky, a Brooklyn Heights resident, was among the veterans who previously said he had received no straight answer over whether he qualified for the benefit.

"We're given conflicted answers...Who do I turn to?" Rakowsky said previously. "Even the professionals don't know."