Down Ballot Decisions

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Favorable down ballot decisions will benefit veterans and their survivors

By PVA National Staff

 

In addition to electing candidates to office, voters in the November election also considered state and local issues. We are aware of at least three states where voters overwhelmingly approved down ballot issues significantly benefiting veterans or their survivors.

First, Florida residents approved an amendment that would transfer Homestead Property Tax discounts of veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities to their surviving spouse. This discount will remain in effect until the spouse remarries, dies, or sells or disposes of the property. Currently, the discount expires upon the veteran’s death.

Meanwhile voters in New Jersey agreed to an amendment that gives a $250 property tax deduction to veterans who did not serve in a time of war and the widow or widower of such a veteran would still be able to receive this deduction after the veteran’s death.

It also extends the 100 percent property tax exemption for disabled veterans to veterans who became disabled during peacetime military service. Currently, these property tax deductions and exemptions are only given to veterans who served during a period of war.

Finally, roughly half of all states charge a vehicle property tax, including Virginia, but that will soon change for certain veterans residing there. Voters agreed to provide veterans who have 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disabilities with a tax exemption for one automobile or pickup truck.

Prior to the election, proponents of the change noted many of these disabled veterans need adapted vehicles and the personal property tax was often a barrier for catastrophically disabled veterans with lower incomes to obtain such cars.

The disability rating must be confirmed by VA, and the veteran’s car or truck would be exempt from taxation beginning on the date the veteran gets the vehicle or on January 1, 2021, whichever is later.

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