PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 5, 2013
Contact: Lee Nichols, 512-463-0126

Van de Putte Applauds Passage of Props 1 & 4

(Austin) — As the polls closed tonight and early vote totals were released, Propositions 1 and 4 on the statewide Texas ballot appear headed for easy passage. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio and Chair of the Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee, issued the following statement:

"I am so grateful to the voters of Texas for supporting Propositions 1 and 4. Once again, our citizens have shown why Texas is the number one state in the nation for our veterans, active duty military, and their families and survivors. These changes to our constitution and our property tax code will make life a little easier for those who have given so much to our nation."

Background:

Proposition 1 will authorize the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed in action.
These spouses ("Gold Star Spouses") have already given all that we can ask in the defense of our nation. As a way of making their lives easier during the difficult period after their spouse's death, and as a way of showing our gratitude thereafter, the Legislature passed an exemption for Gold Star Spouses from 100% of their homestead property tax burden, provided the Gold Star Spouse has not remarried. The exemption is contingent upon Prop. 1's passage.
Proposition 4 will provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.
In testimony, Legislators learned that some disabled veterans have received homes donated by charitable organizations, tailored to their accessibility needs, only to then be at risk of losing those homes due to foreclosure for inability to pay property taxes. The Legislature was dismayed that this wonderful gift to deserving heroes could be taken away through foreclosure, and desires to reduce the veteran's tax burden by a percentage correlating to his or her level of disability (i.e., a 70% disability would receive a 70% tax reduction).

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