Senate DFL shows support for veterans, pushes to extend property tax benefits

Three of the five Senate bills that came to the Veterans Committee this week would extend the state’s current Disabled Veteran Homestead Property Tax Exclusion, which allows veterans with disability ratings of 70% or higher to exclude up to $300,000 of their home’s market value from property taxes.

SF 71 in particular creates a more equitable way to determine the exclusion. Currently, veterans with a disability rating of 70% may exclude $150,000 of their homestead’s market value from taxable value, while veterans rated 100% disabled may exclude $300,000. SF 71 would create a sliding-scale formula that would provide increasingly larger benefits to veterans with disability ratings between 70% and 100%.

A related proposal, SF 205, would remove the eight-year cap on the length of time surviving spouses of disabled veterans may claim the property tax exclusion. It also would allow spouses of disabled veterans with disability ratings between 70% and 99% to qualify for the program; currently, only spouses of 100% disabled veterans are eligible.

Senate Democrats are committed to using some of the state’s surplus to improve benefits offered to our veteran community. These bills passed out of the Veterans Committee and are headed to the Taxes Committee. (SF 71, SF 205)