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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 17, 2019 02:14 PM
From: Representative Chris Sainato
To: All House members
Subject: Constitutional Amendment to Expand Disabled Veterans' Real Estate Tax Exemption
We often hear the proclamation that “Freedom Isn’t Free.” No one understands the truth of that statement more than our veterans and their families. When Americans enroll in military service, they are paying far more than their fair share toward the success of our free society. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid, but we can enact policies that give back to veterans and families who have done so much for us.

To our credit, we do offer some tangible benefits to recognize the contributions of veterans, including a property tax exemption for certain disabled veterans. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania Constitution limits the exemption to those who served in a combat zone; consequently, this exemption does not include the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is killed in action. Regrettably, the spouse of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who makes the ultimate sacrifice is ineligible for the exemption that would otherwise be guaranteed them had the armed forces member survived, but with major injuries.

I am proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to extend the property tax exemption to Pennsylvania residents who are the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who was killed in action or missing and presumed dead, or who received a disability rating of 100% by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and subsequently passed away. The legislation would also expand eligibility for this exemption to veterans who served this great Commonwealth and nation regardless of where their sacrifice was made.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important joint resolution that will alleviate some of the burden placed on our veterans and their families in recognition of the sacrifices they have made for us. (This legislation is a modified draft of last session’s HB 697.)

Introduced as HB1787