Clavin & Council Members Fight to Protect Cold War Veterans Exemption

Receiver Crafts Legislation, Proposes Permanent Property Tax Break


As the clock ticks on a key property tax break for Cold War-era veterans, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., along with the Hempstead Town Board’s other councilmembers, have announced their support for a measure that would extend the important exemption for these heroic homeowners living in America’s largest township. Clavin crafted the legislation, which would eliminate a 10-year “sunset” clause for the exemption, and make permanent the property tax break for Cold War-era veterans. Clavin asked for King Sweeney and Dunne to sponsor the bill at an upcoming Town Board meeting. Also joining Clavin at a press conference on the proposal were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Ed Ambrosino, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.


Clavin and the councilmembers joined with local veterans at the Levittown VFW Post No. 9592 to voice their support for the legislation that would eliminate the 10-year “sunset” provision that applies to the Cold War Veteran property tax break, which provides for up to a 15 percent reduction for eligible recipients.


New York State law had limited the Cold War Veterans Exemption to 10 years, until Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation authorizing local jurisdictions to grant the exemption permanently as long as the veteran or the unremarried surviving spouse remains a homeowner. Currently, there are 1,500 recipients of the Cold War Veterans Exemption in the Town of Hempstead.


“When it comes to showing our appreciation for American heroes, there is no expiration date,” Clavin said. “That’s why it’s crucial that our Town Board acts now to protect this key property tax break for homeowners who bravely served our nation during the Cold War era.”


“The veterans of the Cold War era are heroes who protected our nation during a critical period in our nation’s history,” King Sweeney said. “We want them to know that their efforts are not forgotten in Hempstead Town, and we’re here today to give our support to protecting this well-deserved tax break.”


In addition to his “call of duty” as town councilman, Dunne is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served during the Vietnam War. He also serves as president of the Levittown/Island Trees Veterans Council.


“Our Cold War veterans deserve to be treated with the same respect as those who served in other major American military operations,” Dunne said. “By providing them with this important exemption, we’re saluting our township’s brave men and women for protecting our nation and our freedoms during the Cold War.”


The Cold War Veterans Exemption was originally passed by the Town of Hempstead in April of 2008. Without legislation to extend the property tax break, recipients of the Cold War Veterans Tax exemption would lose it after a 10-year period.


“Our veterans deserve every benefit that we can afford them in recognition of their selfless service to our nation,” said Goosby. Added Ambrosino, “My dad was a proud veteran, and this legislation would pay tribute to his memory while providing real tax relief to our veteran homeowners.”


“I am devoted to all of our veterans who, just like my dad, put the safety and freedom of our residents ahead of their own safety,” stated Blakeman. “When it comes to supporting our veterans and providing them with important tax benefits, I will always be a strong and vocal advocate,” added D’Esposito.


Veterans who could be eligible for the tax break include those who served in active military, naval or air service of the United States between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991 and their surviving spouses who have not remarried and maintain their primary residences within the Town of Hempstead.


For full eligibility requirements and an application, call the Nassau County Department of Assessment at (516) 571-1500. Applications and instructions can also be attained at the Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes webpage at


“Look forward to permanently enacting this critically important exemption, with all of my colleagues, for Cold War era veterans who own a home,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us – as a town – to serve our veterans, just as they have served our nation.”


King Sweeney and Dunne announced that they will present the legislation at the next Town Board meeting on February 20th and call for a vote on a public hearing to be scheduled for the March 6th session.


“We are keeping our Cold War-era veterans in mind as many are struggling to make ends meet while maintaining their lives and homes here on Long Island,” King Sweeney said. “I want to thank our Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin for being proactive and presenting this critical piece of legislation to assist our Cold War veterans who live in the Town of Hempstead,” Dunne added.


“I’m proud to be joined today by our veterans to announce this important legislation to extend an important benefit to hundreds of Cold War veterans across America’s largest township,” Clavin said. “I am confident our Town Board will support this crucial bill that could make permanent this property tax exemption for our veterans.”


Visit Receiver of Taxes Clavin’s webpage