Posted by Brandon Jarvis
By Ashley Luck
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – A constitutional amendment to expand a tax exemption for surviving spouses of disabled veterans cleared the House Privileges and Elections Committee on Friday.
Currently, such spouses get an exemption on the property taxes for the home in which they and their military-veteran partner lived. Under HJ 562, the amendment proposed by Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, spouses would continue to get the exemption if they move to another home.
There was no opposition to the proposal. However, Del. Jackson Miller, R-Manassas, vice chairman of the committee, raised some concerns.
“If this amendment passes, we have to come up with corresponding legislation,” Miller said.
“In the corresponding legislation, could it be written that a spouse of a deceased member of our military couldn’t purchase a far more expensive home in the commonwealth of Virginia? Could the legislation say that the tax value of the home would have to be equal to or lesser than the current home?” Miller continued.
“The testimony we kept hearing is people wanted to scale down because they lost a spouse. And when they scale down, they would lose their ability based on the home they are in when their spouse was killed. The concern I have is, someone that would perhaps scale up from a $200,000 house to a million-dollar house and now not paying property taxes.”
The committee voted unanimously – 21-0 – in favor of the amendment. It now goes to the full House of Delegates for consideration.