More veterans are eligible for expanded Homestead tax exemption

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By Denise G. Callahan and Michael D. Pitman

More military veterans could soon save upwards of $800 on their tax bills if Gov. John Kasich signs a bill into law that would grant them a double Homestead Exemption benefit.
Amended Senate Bill 10 recently passed both the Ohio House and Senate and now sits on Kasich’s desk awaiting his signature. The bill underwent some tweaks and changes including modifying the definition of a disabled veteran — a key alteration Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds pushed for and will give more veterans access to the tax break.
Reynolds said he realized the definition of “disabled veteran” was too restrictive in the revised law and pushed for the change. Veterans who are fully compensated by the Department of Veterans Affairs because of an inability to maintain a job due to a service-related disability now qualify for double the exemption for the Homestead Exemption.
“When the double Homestead benefit was granted to disabled veterans last year, we quickly found out there was a problem,” Reynolds said. “In many cases, veterans were compensated at a 100 percent rate by the VA because their injuries left them unable to work, but their disability rating wasn’t 100 percent. The tax commissioner ruled county auditors could only consider the disability rating. That had to change because it just wasn’t right.”
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