MUSKEGON, MI – An expanded property tax exemption for Michigan veterans is a sign to Dave Eling that the state is finally turning around.
Eling, director of the Muskegon County Department of Veterans’ Affairs, often says that Michigan ranks 53rd, on a per-capita basis, as recipients of federal VA dollars for total veterans benefits, when compared to the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and Guam. That’s despite the fact, he says, that the state has a high concentration of veterans compared to most other states.
But the recent property tax exemption, signed by the governor earlier this month, is a good sign to Eling.
The law extends property tax exemptions to a larger group of veterans with disabilities, as well as their unmarried widows.
The exemption was previously available only to veterans with disabilities who had their homes modified by a grant from the federal Veterans’ Affairs department to accommodate a disability.
Now, it will also be available to veterans who are either designated 100 percent disabled by the VA, as well as veterans who are designated unemployable by the VA as a result of the disability. It’ll also be available to the veteran’s spouse if the veteran passes away before the tax break is granted, according to the Governor’s office.
As a result of the state more broadly defining who qualifies for assistance, Eling said many more families in Muskegon County would qualify.
“That’s going to affect a lot of people in Muskegon,” Eling said. “I’m sure it’s in the hundreds.”