Madison- The Veterans of Foreign Wars-Department of Wisconsin calls upon the state legislature to immediately act to provide property tax relief to our state’s most severely injured veterans. Companion bills SB 116 and AB 88 would expand the eligibility of the veterans and surviving spouses’ property tax credit to those veterans who are 70, 80 and 90 percent service connected within our federal VA system.
For years Wisconsin has provided a property tax credit for veterans who are 100 percent service connected and for their surviving, un-remarried spouses. The United States has been at a state of war, around the world, since September 11, 2001. At no other time in our nation’s history have we seen such a sustained state of military readiness. Many of our returning veterans, although able to work, have seen their earning potential diminished due to physical injuries, moral injuries and post-traumatic stress, often resulting in 70, 80 or 90 percent disability ratings, but due to the high threshold to attain 100 percent ratings, they are often ineligible for the current credit.
The VFW of Wisconsin has been actively engaged on behalf of these brave heroes. Thanks to the support and leadership of State Senator Andres Jacque (R)-De Pere and State Representative James Edming (R)-Glen Flora, companion bills SB 116 and AB 88 were introduced early on in the current legislative session. These identical bills would provide the property tax credit on a sliding scale for our severely injured veterans.
Many states in the country are ahead of Wisconsin when it comes to providing property tax relief to injured veterans, our neighboring states included. Minnesota and Illinois provide full property tax exemption for veterans who are 70 percent or more service connected, and Iowa provides an exemption of almost $2,000 simply for serving in the military for 18 months or more. The time has come for Wisconsin to join our
Unfortunately, although SB 116 has passed out of Senate Committee unanimously, it has yet to receive a vote on the Senate and Assembly floors. “I call upon Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Speaker Vos to step up and offer a truly impactful means of support for our state’s injured veterans and move these worthy pieces of legislation to the full legislature this week prior to Assembly adjournment” says state VFW commander Donald Lynch. “The Senate and Assembly will be acting on a property tax relief package this week that allows for inclusion of relief to assure our most severely disabled veterans are able to stay in their homes, to not take advantage of that opportunity to do so would be extremely disappointing to our 30,000 members in the state” Lynch further adds.