Bryan Cohen Oct. 11, 2013, 6:52pm

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a new effort Friday to make sure that all U.S. military veterans receive the state property tax exemptions they are entitled to under state law.

Schneiderman's office recently learned that some veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were being wrongly denied the property tax exemption they are entitled to upon finishing military service. The section of New York state law that creates the exemption is written in a confusing way that suggests the exemption does not apply to veterans of recent conflicts. In fact, the veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and the global war on terror are eligible for the exemption.

"Veterans who bravely served after the horrific events of 9/11 deserve the same benefits as those who served before them," Schneiderman said. "Unfortunately, a confusing law left some of those service members behind, costing them and their families thousands of dollars. This new effort will help ensure that local tax officials give military families the benefits they deserve, whether they were earned during the Korean War or the current war in Afghanistan."

Schneiderman issued a letter this week to county property tax officials throughout the state to clarify the wording of the law and instruct them to ensure local officials are applying the exemption to veterans who served during the last 23 years.

Schneiderman's office determined that local tax officials were unclear on the availability of the benefit and in some cases the officials told veterans they were ineligible. Families were potentially losing out on thousands of dollars of savings per year.

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