Governor Signs Bill Helping Military Widows Keep Their Homes
SB73 gives property tax exemptions to spouses of military members whose death is service related
JUNEAU—Today, Governor Sean Parnell signed a bill granting partial property tax exemptions to widows and widowers of members of the armed services, including the National Guard, whose deaths are related to their service. Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Senator Kevin Meyer, R-South Anchorage, provides municipalities with the option to provide a property tax exemption on the first $150,000 of the assessed value of the home.
“Senate Bill 73 is another part of our quest to build stronger communities in Alaska,” said Senator Meyer. “This bill supports military families who have built their lives in Alaska, and who have chosen to remain in Alaska, even following the death of a military spouse.”
Representative Charisse Millett sponsored the companion bill, House Bill 164, after learning about a constituent struggling to keep her home after losing her husband in a military air crash three years ago. “A surviving widow or widower should not have to worry about how they will be able to keep the family home,” Millett, R-Anchorage, said. “Thanks to this legislation they have the ability to stay in their home even with the sudden loss of income. This is the least we can do for military families struggling with the devastating loss of a loved one.”
The tax exemptions would have to be approved by voters in each municipality or borough to take effect. Last year, Anchorage voters approved a proposition allowing for this type of property tax exemption by nearly 80% (Proposition 7). However, under current state law, in order for that ordinance to take effect, the Legislature had to pass a similar bill also allowing the exemption.
“This bill helps our military families when they need it the most. On top of being emotionally devastated, these widows and widowers are often financially devastated,” said Senator Meyer. “They find themselves suddenly living with a lot less than they had before. This is the least we can do for these military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.”
Senate Bill 73 will be retroactive to January 1, 2013.
For more information, please contact Edra Morledge in Senator Meyer’s office at 907-465-4945.