K’hook ups tax breaks for some vets, Gold Star parents

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board passed Local Law #2 of 2018 this week, increasing some veterans’ property tax exemptions.

At the board meeting Monday night, February 5 the board changed the exemption levels from $24,000 to $36,000 for wartime veterans and from $16,000 to $24,000 for combat zone veterans. For disabled veterans the law reads “50% of the veteran’s disability rating not to exceed $120,000.”

Also there is now an exemption for Gold Star Parents, defined in the law as the parents of a child who died in the line of duty while serving the United States in the armed forces during a period of war.

“A Gold Star Parent shall be deemed a ‘qualified owner’ eligible for the exemptions for ‘qualifying residential real property’ as those terms are set forth and defined in the Real Property,” Local Law #2 reads.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that the county Real Property Tax Service Agency contacted him to say that if the board passed the exemptions before March 1 people could take advantage of the exemption this year.

The law must be filed by the state before it takes effect.

The board held a public hearing on the exemption law before the regular meeting February 5. Only one comment was offered and that was in support of the exemption.

Also at the meeting:

• Walt Simonsmeier was appointed a member of the Zoning Board Appeals to finish out a term lasting until 2019, and Robert Wiseman was named to the Board of Assessment Review. The board is still interviewing applicants for a seat on the Planning Board

• The board accepted the resignation of town Dog Control Officer Diane Ryan. Mr. Grattan talked about her decade of service to the town.

“She’s done a great job. It’s sad to see her go,” Councilwoman Pasty Leader said. The town will be looking for a new person for that position

• Mr. Grattan announced the creation of a Highway Safety Committee. The state Department of Transportation held a meeting with the town and several residents last week. Mr. Grattan said that at the meeting state representatives confirmed that the DOT will be paving parts of Route 203 between the Villages of Chatham and Valatie this spring. He said that the Highway Committee would reach out to state officials and try to meet with them about that project.

“We need to have some people at the table,” he said of the state’s planning process for the road.

He appointed Route 203 resident Barbara Schnieder, Winding Brook Country Club owner Kate Austin, county Highway Superintendent Bernie Kelleher and town Highway Superintendent John Ruchel.

The next board meeting will be Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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