With Veterans Day approaching, Texans can show our gratitude to those disabled while serving our nation by protecting their spouses from an over-burdensome property tax system. Disabled veterans already receive a property tax exemption, but it is one that disappears upon their death, leaving their spouse with a big tax increase.
Proposition 1 will appear on the ballot in this form:
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran.”
Currently, disabled veterans are already given an exemption on their property taxes. It ensures that they will not over-burdened with substantial property taxes if they are unable to provide for themselves and become dependent on a fixed income. Proposition 1 would extend that same exemption to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, preventing the inauspicious possibility of a grieving spouse losing their home within months of losing their loved one because of the property tax burden.
The exemption for the surviving spouse will remain intact so long as they don’t re-marry or sell their home.
Ultimately, the state should look to phase out the property tax system altogether and transition those government services dependent on it to the more equitable and stable state sales tax. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to realize the problems that naturally occur when an unelected board is responsible for assessing the value of your home. A sales tax on the other-hand requires no bureaucrat to determine the total amount to pay.
That kind of over-haul of our tax system isn’t going to happen overnight, but passing Proposition 1 and rejecting Proposition 4 and Proposition 7 are steps Texans can take to move in that direction, all while supporting military families who’s made great sacrifices for our nation. It’s simply the right thing to do.