Monday, May 27, 2013

Dianda introduces bill to benefit severely disabled veterans

LANSING -- State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) recently introduced House Bill 4698 that will make it easier for severely disabled veterans to claim a property tax exemption for a veteran's homestead that they should be entitled to under Michigan law. The bill was referred to the House Tax Policy Committee on May 7, 2013.*

"This bill is in direct response to conversations I have had with veteran's services officers from my district, namely Joy DeNicola from Iron County and John Frello from Gogebic, who explained how the current system wasn't working optimally for getting our veterans the services and exemptions they deserve," said Dianda. "That's the best way to make legislation -- by responding to a direct need from the people of my district that will help veterans all across the state."

Currently, only veterans who have participated in the Veteran Administration’s adapted housing program are eligible to receive the exemption. HB 4698 would broaden the ways that veterans who are 100 percent service connected (injured during their service), as well as those who have received a determination of individual unemployability from the VA, could claim a tax exemption on their homestead. It is much easier for veterans to get documentation of their service connection or unemployability status from the VA or from their Veteran’s Service Officer than it is to participate in the adapted housing program.

"Eliminating some of the red tape that our injured servicemen and women have to maneuver in order to get a tax exemption to, for example, make improvements to their home to make it more accessible for them, is just good policy," continued Dianda. "This bill would be just a small step in improving how we thank our veterans when they return home."

* Click here to read HB 4698 as proposed.

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