Patterson Fighting on Behalf of Disabled Veterans

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is standing up for veterans who are totally and permanently disabled. He sent a letter to the Michigan Legislature this week expressing his opposition to House Bill 5169 which would decrease property tax exemptions for totally and permanently disabled veterans.

The bill, if passed, would repeal Section 7b of the General Property Tax Act which provides a property tax exemption for veterans who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service, have received specially adapted housing from the Veterans Administration (VA), or who are rated by the VA as individually unemployable due to a service connected disability.

The exemption also extends to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who qualified for the exemption. To receive the exemption, the surviving spouse cannot have remarried.

Patterson asked Lansing lawmakers to join him in his opposition to H.B. 5169.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson

Read L. Brooks Patterson’s letterĀ to the Oakland County Senators and State Representatives from March 23, 2016:

I am writing to advise you of my opposition to House Bill 5169. This bill would repeal Section 7b of the General Property Tax Act. Section 7b provides a property tax exemption for veterans who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of military service, have received specially adapted housing from the VA or who are rated by the VA as individually unemployable due to a service connected disability. The exemption extends to the unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who qualified for the exemption.

When Section 7b was expanded in 2013 I supported that amendment as a small means of repaying those veterans who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. I did so even knowing it would reduce property tax revenue in Oakland County. Accordingly, I directed my Veterans Service Division and Equalization Division to get the word out and help any veterans who qualified for this exemption. Quite simply, it was the right thing to do.

Although House Bill 5169 does propose to expand the homestead exemption for certain veterans, the House Fiscal Agency Legislative Analysis indicates that this legislation would reduce benefits to veterans in Michigan by $10,000,000.00. This is based on the $6,000,000.00 expansion in the homestead property tax credits versus the $16,000,000.00 reduction in property taxes currently provided under Section 7b. In my view, this is a $10,000,000.00 burden that Michigan veterans and their widows/widowers should not have to bear.

As a veteran and a lifelong advocate for veterans, I recognize that our country owes a great debt to those have served. In this case, those who would be impacted negatively by this legislation are those who have incurred severe disabilities in their service to our country. Therefore, I am asking that you stand up for our veterans and strongly oppose House Bill 5169.

Very truly yours,

L. Brooks Patterson

Oakland County Executive

 

 

Speak Your Mind

*