Uresti urges disabled vets to take advantage of tax exemption law
SAN ANTONIO — State Sen. Carlos Uresti is urging eligible veterans to take advantage of a new law that provides a property tax exemption to those were are 100 percent disabled from their military service.
"This new law could never fully compensate these brave soldiers, but it's a good start," Uresti said. "Texans are proud of these veterans and grateful for the sacrifices they made, and now we've found a way to show it."
Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment providing the property tax exemption in 2007, but the Legislature did not pass the enabling legislation until the 2009 session. Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill into law on June 19.
Under the new law, the property tax exemption applies to a veteran with a service-connected disability who receives compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the 100% level, due to either a 100% disability rating or individual unemployability.
The total value of an eligible veteran's residence homestead is exempt from any calculation of property taxation, regardless of the number of taxing units, including school districts, utility districts, hospital districts or others.
Uresti noted that the effective tax year for the exemption is 2009, so eligible veterans should apply for it immediately and obtain a new certification letter created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in anticipation of the bill's passage.
The letter should address the specific percentage rating of a veteran's disability, unemployable status, and whether the disability was service-connected. Veterans should contact their County Appraisal District to obtain an application and make sure that a copy of the new VA certification letter is received with the application.
Uresti, who co-sponsored the legislation, was honored with a plaque by the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his support.
"As a lawmaker, I was proud to help this bill through the legislative process and make it law," Uresti said. "As a former Marine, I am honored to be recognized by this distinguished group.
"The entire nation appreciates what these soldiers have given, and I will continue to be their champion in the Texas Legislature," Uresti said.
Senator Uresti represents Senate District 19, a 55,000 square mile area extending from the city of San Antonio in Bexar County to the Lower Valley of El Paso County and including approximately 750,000 people. The largest legislative district in the nation, it spans two time zones and contains nine of the 14 border counties in Texas.