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Senator Meyer Introduces Bill to Help Military Widows Keep Their Homes

Senate Bill 73 gives property tax exemption to spouse of military member killed during service
 

JUNEAU-Today, Senator Kevin Meyer, R-South Anchorage, introduced Senate Bill 73, which would allow widows or widowers of someone killed during military service to be granted a partial exemption on their property taxes. 

“This bill will help our military families when they need it the most,” said Senator Meyer.  “On top of being emotionally devastated, often these widows are financially devastated as well.   They find themselves suddenly living with a lot less than they had before.   This is the least we can do for these families who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.”

The tax exemptions would have to be approved by voters in each municipality or borough to take effect.   Last year, voters in Anchorage approved a proposition to give spouses of people killed while in the military a property tax exemption of up to $150,000.   Under current state law, in order for that ordinance to take effect, the Legislature must pass a similar bill also allowing the exemption.

“Disabled veterans and the spouses of disabled veterans already qualify for this benefit,” said Senator Meyer.  “There is no reason why someone who will never again get to see their loved one because they made the ultimate sacrifice to fight for our freedom shouldn’t receive it as well.” 

The property tax exemption will only apply if it is the primary residence of the spouse and if that person is 60-years of age or older.    In order to qualify for the exemption, spouses must be a resident of the State of Alaska for the entire year before the exemption is granted and every year after that they must own and occupy the home as their primary residence for at least 185 days of the year.  The exemption would also expire when the widow or widower remarries.

“Military families add a lot to our communities,” said Senator Meyer.  “I would hate for someone to leave because they can’t afford to stay.   This gives those families even more reason to keep calling Alaska home and continue building stronger communities across our state.”

Senate Bill 73 was sent to the Senate Community and Regional Affairs and State Affairs Committees for further consideration.  If passed, Senate Bill 73 would be retroactive to January 1, 2013.

For more information, please contact Edra Morledge in Senator Meyer’s office at 907-465-4945.

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