DARIEN — Town officials are looking to ease the financial burden on local veterans.

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of a Local Option Property Tax Exemption for Veterans, securing up to $2,000 in additional tax relief for those in the community who have served in the U.S. military.

On hand at Monday’s meeting were two members of the Commission on Aging, Chairman Joseph Pankowski Jr. and Mary McCarthy, as well as Town Assessor Anthony Homicki and Deputy Assessor Milagros Milan-Garcia.

“Our veterans have done so much for us; this is the least we could do for them,” McCarthy said.

According to Milan-Garcia, the tax exemption would total roughly $37,000 in the coming year, based on the assessed property values of the 43 qualified veterans, with Darien’s nonveteran homeowners making up the difference in tax money.

“It looks like the tax impact would be minimal,” Milan-Garcia said.

“When these numbers were considered, all agreed that this approach, while benefiting our veterans, would also have a limited tax impact on the town,” McCarthy said.

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Similar veterans tax exemptions













The 43 eligible veterans are already qualified for state-level tax exemptions at a base level of $1,000. For the new local exemption, the additional tax relief would differ from veteran to veteran. The specific amount for each homeowner would be 10 percent of the assessed value — up to $20,000 — of the property of a veteran, disabled veteran or veteran’s spouse.

“Certainly the veterans that do live in our community deserve all of our support and recognition,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.

Darien joins 12 other Fairfield County municipalities that have, as of last fall, implemented some kind of local veterans tax exemptions.

Phil Kraft, president of the Darien-based nonprofit National Veterans Services Fund, said he supported tax exemptions like the one approved by the selectmen.

“In my mind it’s always a good thing when we can help veterans. It’s a great start,” Kraft said.

The exemption will need final approval from the Representative Town Meeting, which will meet Monday.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1