Expanded property tax break for disabled veterans announced
The passing of a bill which expands property tax benefits for 100-percent disabled American veterans and their unmarried spouses was announced at a press conference Monday.
Lauderdale County Tax Assessor James Rainey formally announced the passing of House Bill 1165 at the meet, which which was attended by residents as well as local and state officials. The new bill exempts those who qualify from paying the homestead portion of the ad valorem tax, also called the property tax. The bill excludes other portions of the ad valorem tax, such as school taxes and car tags.
Mississippi Rep. Greg Snowden, District 83, sponsored the bill, which originally excluded widows and widowers and had a $75,000 property value limit.
"Three or four different veterans organizations approached me about the bill," Snowden told the crowd of about 50 gathered at the Lauderdale County Courthouse Annex lobby. "They approached me about the bill and I was honored to present it.
"No bill gets passed without a lot of support behind it," he said.
State Reps. Videt Carmichael and William Shirley were also in attendance.
"We're trying to help those who have helped us throughout the past years," Carmichael said. "We need to honor those who served us, and this is just a small way we can do it."
The tax break can be applied for by disabled American veterans or their widows or widowers from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2015. To apply, applicants must submit a deed to the property, Social Security numbers for the veteran and spouse, purchase price of the property and he Mississippi tag numbers of all vehicles in their possession.
"This year we've had several major victories for veterans," said Norman Copeland, District 4 Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "Now we're recognizing our disabled American veterans in giving them a 100 percent tax liability deduction. No more ad valorem tax for those guys. That's totally what they deserve, totally what they need and the best part is it includes the spouses. A lot of times those spouses are left to struggle. They've lost that disability income. They have to financially struggle just to survive and this takes that burden off their back. I think it's a win-win for everybody."