In this legislative session, veterans are motioning for the passing of House Bill 716, which advocates for Texas veterans with disabilities for a break on their home property taxes. Over the course of the past five years, some veterans have seen their property taxes increase over 30 percent, which poses an issue with the VA’s fixed monthly compensation rate.

Currently, veterans who are rated 100 percent disabled pay zero property taxes in Plano. Veterans who are rated 80 to 90 percent receive a property tax break of $12,000 off appraised value, however, this isn’t always substantial with fixed VA compensation and fluid tax rates.

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“The majority of these veterans are just as disabled as 100 percent veterans, but they’re not getting any additional property tax relief other than the standard deduction that’s offered to anyone 65 or older for homestead exemption,” said Ken Taylor, Army veteran and Service Officer for American Legion Chapter 321 and Collin County Veteran’s Coalition (CCVc) Legislative Committee member. “With soaring property taxes infused with cost of living increases has put a higher financial burden on severely disabled Veterans putting some at risk of losing their home. This bill simply levels the playing field.”

House Bill 716 is sponsored by State Representative Jeff Leach (District 67) and co-authored by Candace Noble (District 89). It is slated to go before the House Committee on Ways & Means where, it will be determined if the bill should move forward to a floor vote in April.

“We’re constantly seeing a lot of seriously disabled veterans losing their home due to a crunch in their bills,” said P.J. Putnam. “Our bill is going to help stop homelessness and keep our veterans in their homes and help them lead a civil life that they earned.”

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Of the 1,565,000 million veterans living in Texas, 350,021 are rated service connected disabled. Should the bill pass, an estimated 8 percent of those veterans are expected to qualify for lower taxes.

With the Texas Ways & Means Committee Hearing impending, veterans are encouraged to contact their legislators via email expressing support for House Bill 716. For more information on how to contact your legislator, visit here.

Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez is a writer at Local Profile. He is a lover of food, music, sports, art, and world cultures. Alex was born and raised in Plano and graduated from University of North Texas in 2017. When he...