Thursday, February 21, 2008

Staff Writer

..By Robert Barron

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators are considering giving Cold War veterans a tax exemption.

Proposed is a local law that would give Cold War veterans a 10-percent exemption off their property assessment for 10 years.

The maximum exemption would not exceed $8,000.

The law is being offered to cover veterans who are not eligible for war-time-veteran tax exemptions.

Cold War veterans are defined as those who served in the U.S. military from 1945 to 1991.

Many Cold War veterans served at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base as part of the Strategic Air Command from 1956 until 1995 when the base closed.

"The state is offering this to make it fair for those who served in the Cold War but do not get war-time exemptions," said Clinton County Veterans Services Agency Director Steven Bowman. "Now everyone will be covered."

County legislators will hold a public hearing on the proposed exemption at their next meeting — at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27 — before voting on the measure.

If approved, the exemption can be applied to county taxes only.

Bowman, himself a Cold War veteran, said each municipality in the county can also approve the Cold War exemption for local taxes.

Thus far, only the Town of Chazy has approved the exemption.

"I think these veterans deserve this exemption, and I would encourage all municipalities to look at this and make a determination of what they are going to do," Bowman said.

E-mail Joe LoTemplio at

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