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Cold War veterans exemption – Eligibility requirements

Time of Service Requirements

  • September 2, 1945 through December 26, 1991

Character of discharge

You must attach to your application either:

  1. Proof that you were discharged or released from service under honorable conditions (usually Form DD-214; see the complete listing of Acceptable Military Records for Veterans Property Tax Exemption) or
  2. A letter you received from the New York State Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) stating that you now meet the character of discharge criteria for all of the benefits and services listed in the Restoration of Honor Act.

You must also provide proof of the times and places served in active duty, if not already included on the documentation described above.

Ownership requirements

  • legal title to residential property must be in the name of the veteran, spouse of a veteran, or the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran
  • if the property is owned by more than one qualified owner, the exemption benefits of each qualified owner may be combined
  • legal title may also be in the name of a veteran, spouse of the veteran, or unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran whenever such a person is a life tenant of the property; if title transfers to a trust, such a person becomes a trustee or beneficiary of such trust

Residency requirements

  • exemption applies only on property used exclusively for residential purposes; if a portion of the property is in non-residential use, the exemption can't apply to this portion
  • property eligible for this exemption must be the primary residence of the veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse of the a Cold War veteran, unless that person is absent from the property for medical reasons or is in an institution
  • if the qualifying veteran is deceased, the exemption may continue on the eligible property if the title to the property is in the name of the veteran'™s unremarried surviving spouse, and continues to use the property as the primary residence
  • if the veteran is also the unremarried surviving spouse of a veteran, he or she may also receive any exemption benefit to which the deceased spouse was entitled
  • municipalities have the option to offer the exemption for eligible veterans in cooperative apartments

Members of reserves

A member of the reserve component of the Armed Forces who was discharged or released from active duty during the Cold War period (beyond active duty for training), but is still a member of the reserves, is considered a veteran for purposes of this exemption, and is thus eligible to receive the exemption, provided that such active duty was significant and full-time (see 8 Op. Counsel SBEA No. 37) and that the veteran meets all other statutory requirements. Otherwise, reservists are not eligible for a Cold War veterans exemption.