Governor Glenn Youngkin approved Delegate Kathy Tran’s (D-Fairfax) bill allowing localities to charge reduced property tax rates on property owned by surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty.
On February 4, Tran told a subcommittee, “I’m really proud that Virginians have gone to the ballot box again and again through constitutional amendments to support our military and their families. We’ve given property tax relief to 100 percent disabled veterans and the surviving spouse of 100 percent disabled veterans and the surviving spouse of a service member who was killed in action. But those categories leave a glaring omission: service members who were killed in the line of duty and their spouses.”
“These individuals were not directly killed by enemy fire, but they still died while in service to our country,” Tran said.
Tran mentioned some examples: cases where a service member was killed in a helicopter accident, or a training accident, or in relation to burn pits. The same day in the House of Delegates, Tran introduced some surviving spouses and mentioned a Navy SEAL who died with service-related brain cancer.
The bill passed the General Assembly without receiving any “no” votes.
The reduced tax rate must still be greater than zero, and surviving spouses who remarried would not be eligible.
“By taking care of our Gold Star Families, we honor the legacy of our service men and women, who gave their lives to protect our freedom,” Youngkin said in a Tuesday (Gold Star Spouses Day) press release. “This legislation enables local governments to give something back to families who have sacrificed so much on behalf of this country.”
“This is one of the more significant tax bills that passed VA General Assembly this session with leadership from @KathyKLTran,” Delegate Mark Keam (D-Fairfax) tweeted on Tuesday. “Virginia has a huge presence of military servicemembers, Guards, Reserves, veterans & families, and our state laws are very veteran-friendly!”
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