Op-Ed from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

November 5, 2010
Mark Langford at 210-932-2568

Fix on the way for flaw in disabled veterans property tax exemption bill

By Sen. Carlos Uresti

The next session of the Texas Legislature will face many partisan challenges, but there is one issue that promises to unite lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle – our commitment to military veterans.

One veterans' issue in particular demands our attention. A state law that provides a full property tax exemption to veterans who are 100 percent disabled from their military service has caused some confusion and needs to be revised.

Under current law, the exemption does not follow the disabled veteran when he or she sells their house. Correcting that omission will be a priority for me and other lawmakers in the next legislative session.

In 2007 more than 85 percent of Texas voters approved the constitutional amendment providing for this exemption – an overwhelming display of support and gratitude for those who sacrificed so much for our nation.

I commend everyone who voted for it, and I hope you will support efforts next year to make the law even stronger. This simple change will make eligible veterans more self-reliant and secure, and give the rest of us another chance to say thanks.

Meanwhile, we don't have to wait until the session begins in January to let Texas veterans know how much we think of them.

Thursday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. Originally set aside as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, Nov. 11 became a day to honor veterans in 1954. Since then it's become a day of picnics, parades, fireworks, flowers and flags. But mostly it is a day of remembrance and respect for those who have sacrificed so much.

Nov 10 is a special day, too – the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. As a Marine and the father of a Marine, I celebrate this day as well. This year, the Corps turned 235, wise and spry, and still always ready to fight.

It shouldn't be hard to find a Veterans Day event in your community. But regardless of how you spend the day, don't let it pass without taking a moment to honor those who made sure that you live every day in freedom.

Semper Fi!