VIA SBINSIDER | November 11th
After WWII, the Arizona legislature put into the Constitution a way for veterans wounded in service to get a partial reduction in property taxes. There are income limits and the value of the property is taken into consideration as a qualifier too. But, they also included the requirement that the veteran be born in Arizona to qualify. 40 years later, a disgruntled veteran who was not born in Arizona but was combat injured, sued under the 14th amendment Equal Protection clause. The plaintiff won and the Arizona Supreme Court declared all exemptions for Veterans who were less than 100% disabled were no longer eligible for the exemption.
This ruling also put at risk the exemption for low income widows and widowers as the language was exactly the same for both taxpayers. Fortunately, no one sued and the exemption stands BUT at anytime it too could be overturned.
Perhaps the plaintiff who sued thought the state legislature would act quickly to fix the language and put it in front of the taxpayers for their approval. But, since 1989 other issues, seemingly more important got ahead of this issue until 2013, when the Assessors of Arizona finally got behind the push to restore the exemption for veterans and added the widows and widowers correction language in Proposition 130.
PROPOSITION 130 TO THE RESCUE
In 2022 the voters of Arizona overwhelming supported the restoration of the veteran’s benefit and protected our widows and widowers. This November 11th is Veteran’s day and this vote was a great way to show appreciation to those who put their lives on the line and took fire on our behalf.