Texas Veterans Get Big Tax Break

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING--Veterans across the Lone Star State will have more cash in their pockets, thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Rick Perry.

After years of dedicated service to their country, disabled veterans in Texas are getting something back, an exemption in taxes on their property, but not everyone is eligible.

"Anything to help someone on a fixed income will be beneficial to them," Veteran Thomas Tafuro of Big Spring, said.

The new law went into effect in June, giving disabled Texas veterans a big and welcomed tax break.

According to Brett McKibben, Chief Apparaiser for the Howard County Appraisal District, "If you have a house valued at $50,000 and your property taxes are $2,000, if I'm a veteran, I'm not going to pay any of that $2,000.  It is exempted, it is zero."

But there are some restrictions.  You must be receiving 100% disablity compensation or be un-employable, and your injury must be service related.

"The form says, unemployabilty, yes or no.  It doesn't give you a percentage.  The disabled, it can be disabled from, I've seen from 10% to 90% or 100%," McKibben explained.

This is great news for Thomas Tafuro, "This was a homerun for me.  I was ready to pack it in and move to Albuquerque or Oklahoma, who already had the bill passed."

Tafuro's been following this bill in the House since it was first proposed.

"They missed the deadline by minutes the last time and the clock ran out.  They almost did it the same thing this time," he said.

According to McKibben, there is a tax exemption already in the books for disabled vets, "There's an original one and that is service connected too.  They can put that on any property they want."

This new one gives them another helping hand.

"At least it's good for the guys coming back.  Anything to help them," Tafuro said.

If you are a disabled vet in Texas and are not sure if you qualify for either of these exemptions, just take your paperwork to your local county appraisal office and they'll investigate for you.