Veterans tax efforts


Dear Editor,

There are currently two efforts at the state capitol designed to help our military veterans. HCR2009 would enable our veterans, who have a service-related disability of 50 percent or more, to “freeze” their property value on which property taxes are based. They would realize long-term property tax savings in the event of a continually rising real estate market, and they would be able to renew the “freeze” every three years, for as long as they desired.

The other effort has not yet been assigned a resolution number as of this writing; however, it would bestow a more immediate property tax relief for our disabled veterans. First, a little history: Our state’s Constitution already contains a provision for a limited property tax exemption for disabled veterans. In 1989 that provision was challenged, and eventually the Arizona Supreme Court found that the language violates the federal Title IX law (equal protections clause), and they overturned it as being unconstitutional.

The current effort would restore the limited exemption for veterans and correct the unconstitutional language. Both efforts would require amendments to the Arizona Constitution, and therefore would go before the voters this fall if they are successful at the state capitol this summer.

Please contact your state representatives to express your support or opposition to these initiatives. Local government functions best when it operates at the behest of the people it serves.

Joe Williams,

Gila County Assessor

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