There are many laws that get passed by state governments that few people hear abnout or know about. The Dannie Lee Barnes disabled veteran property tax relief act may be one of those new laws. Just enacted by the Michigan legislature during early November, 2013, it was made effective immediately but little has been done to get the word out about the law.
For those who served their country and suffered life changing disabilities because of that service, this is welcome relief. The law applies to only those who have been declared to be 100% disabled by their injuries or who have special needs due to their injuries and to those who lives have been so disrupted that they are now essentially unemployable.
This is also one of those laws that most local County and Township officials may not have heard of yet or know how to implement. I have posted the law, as it was published by the legislature below. Since it was given immediate effect, it applies to this winter’s taxes, if the disabled veteran can find someone locally who knows how to implement the law.
One aspect of this new law that local officials are sure not to like is that it provides no relief to the local governments for the tax revenues lost due to this change. It is relatively easy for legislators sitting in Lansing to pass laws with the provision – “each local taxing unit shall bear the loss of its portion of the taxes upon which the exemption has been granted.”
Read through the law below and then Veterans who wish to take advantage of this new law should contact their local Township or County officials and ask about submitting their affidavit (see below) of eligibility. You should have your VA paperwork ready as proof of your level of disability.
THE GENERAL PROPERTY TAX ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 206 of 1893
211.7b Exemption of real property used and owned as homestead by disabled veteran or
individual described in subsection (2); filing and inspection of affidavit; cancellation of
taxes; local taxing unit to bear loss; death of disabled veteran; continuation of exemption
in favor of unremarried surviving spouse; "disabled veteran" defined.
Sec. 7b. (1) Real property used and owned as a homestead by a disabled veteran who was discharged from
the armed forces of the United States under honorable conditions or by an individual described in subsection
(2) is exempt from the collection of taxes under this act. To obtain the exemption, an affidavit showing the facts required by this section and a description of the real property shall be filed by the property owner or his or her legal designee with the supervisor or other assessing officer during the period beginning with the tax day for each year and ending at the time of the final adjournment of the local board of review. The affidavit when filed shall be open to inspection.
The county treasurer shall cancel taxes subject to collection under this
act for any year in which a disabled veteran eligible for the exemption under this section has acquired title to real property exempt under this section. Upon granting the exemption under this section, each local taxing unit shall bear the loss of its portion of the taxes upon which the exemption has been granted.
(2) If a disabled veteran who is otherwise eligible for the exemption under this section dies, either before or after the exemption under this section is granted, the exemption shall remain available to or shall continue for his or her unremarried surviving spouse. The surviving spouse shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1) and shall indicate on the affidavit that he or she is the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran entitled to the exemption under this section. The exemption shall continue as long as the surviving spouse remains unremarried.
(3) As used in this section, "disabled veteran" means a person who is a resident of this state and who meets 1 of the following criteria:
(a) Has been determined by the United States department of veterans affairs to be permanently and totallydisabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans' benefits at the 100% rate.
(b) Has a certificate from the United States veterans' administration, or its successors, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing.
(c) Has been rated by the United States department of veterans affairs as individually unemployable.
History: Add. 1954, Act 179, Imd. Eff. May 5, 1954;¾Am. 1978, Act 261, Imd. Eff. June 28, 1978;¾Am. 2013, Act 161, Imd. Eff.
Nov. 12, 2013.
Popular name: Act 206
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