As Michigan vets face longer wait times due to the proliferation of disability claims, a bit of relief may be in sight if two Congressional bills are passed. Those bills, which have both passed the Senate Finance Committee, aim to provide property tax exemptions for veterans disabled in their military service.
Disabled veterans often live on a fixed income and are unable to work, and increases in taxes sometimes prevent veterans from keeping their homes. The bills would address that problem. Some critics are worried, however, that provide more tax exemptions would add stress to towns and cities that are already financially strapped.
One of the bills would permit communities to allow veterans a tax exemption on his or her principal home. In order to qualify, the veteran would have to be completely disabled; must have suffered the disability in the line of duty; been honorably discharged; and have a taxable income of less than $23,000. Roughly half of U.S. states have a similar law in place. Since 2007, similar legislation has been introduced, but has never received a hearing until now.
The other bill would require all local governments to provide a tax exemption on homestead property, including rented homes and apartments, for veterans who are completely disabled, regardless of their income.
With nearly 8,000 veterans in Michigan who are completely disabled, local revenue could decrease by about $9.4 million per year. Both bills would also cover veterans' surviving spouses.
We'll keep our readers updated with any developments concerning the proposals.
Source: Detroit Free Press, "Michigan disabled vets could see property tax relief," Alanna Durkin, May 19, 2013.