FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2013
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Today, Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-Harlingen) and Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) announce the filing of bills to reduce veterans' property tax burden. The bills, House Joint Resolution 134 and Senate Joint Resolution 59 would exempt veterans from paying taxes on at least $10,000 of homestead property value.
“It was important to me that I carry this bill. Men and women in uniform deserve this courtesy and respect,” Rep. Lucio said. “Veterans have put their lives on hold and on the line to protect our way of life, and this bill is the least we can do to show our gratitude.”
“This bill is about giving back to those brave men and women who have themselves given so much to our country,” Senator Lucio said. “Thank you to Cameron County Judge Cascos and members of the County Commissioner's Court for proposing this important piece of legislation. ”
Lessening veterans' property tax burden was part of Cameron County's legislative agenda. Today's bills were proposed to Cameron County legislators in January.
“Giving veterans and their surviving spouses some property tax relief is the least we can do, considering all they have done and continue to do to insure that our country maintains the liberties and freedoms we all enjoy today,” said Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos.
Under the bill, a veteran would be exempt from at least $10,000 of homestead property value. Texas county governments would be able to increase the amount of the exemption up to $75,000 of homestead property value. If a county government does raise the property tax exemption, it may not lower the exemption in the future. Veterans are not permitted to couple this exemption with any other property tax exemptions.
Today's bills compliment legislation passed by in 2011 which provided tax relief for the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Last Session, Senator Lucio was an author of Senate Joint Resolution 14, which provided that the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran is exempt from the same property taxes their spouse was exempt from in life.