Resolution offers tax exemptions for spouses of fallen soldiers

The House passed 99-0 a joint resolution bill today that offers tax exemptions for spouses of soldiers killed in action. The bill provides a real property tax exemption for their primary residence.

This bill adds to the current legislation that provides tax exemptions for spouses of any veteran with a “one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability.” HJ 551 extends these rights to the spouses of soldiers killed in combat.

“This is one of those do the right thing bills,” said Del. David Ramadan, R-Loudoun, chief-patron of the bill, during session today.

HJ 551 had passed unanimously through the constitutional amendments subcommittee (5-0), and it had been reported to the house with a 22-0 vote from the Committee on Privileges and Elections last week.

Before its passing in the session today, an amendment was added to the bill that changed the wording of the bill from “shall” to “may,” giving local governments the final decision on whether to grant the exemption.

Although he said he had felt most of the localities would grant this exemption, Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, said during session he felt that the bill should be a local option rather than a state mandate because it was local money that would be used to pay for the exemption.

The bill helps those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice” for our country, Ramadan said.

The bill had 50 co-patrons and cross-party support including Henrico delegates Joseph Morrissey, D-Henrico, and John O’Bannon, R-Henrico.
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