Florida is home to 1.5 million veterans, making it the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.
We offer veterans access to important programs and seek out avenues to deliver Florida veterans the earned benefits to which they’re entitled. Included in those benefits are very generous property tax breaks for veterans over the age of 65 who have combat-related disabilities.
For those veterans whose combat disabilities resulted from defending our nation, they receive a discount on their property taxes based on their disability.
However, once that veteran passes away, the property tax discount disappears, leaving the surviving spouse (who is often a senior citizen) to cover the full tax bill.
This can cause significant financial challenges for a single widow or widower who is likely already surviving on a fixed income.
Amendment 6 allows for the property tax benefit to transfer to a veteran’s surviving spouse so long as the spouse does not remarry or dispose of the property. These military spouses stood loyally beside these heroes in their time of need, and now Florida should do the same.
Amendment 6 will help the widows and widowers of our state’s veterans keep the homes they built with this very marginal tax break.
Voting YES for Amendment 6 will help Florida honor these veterans who paid more than their fair share for freedom.
In President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, he stated:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Amendment 6 helps fulfill the promise “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”
In a state with over 21 million residents, the veterans who are eligible for this discount make up only a small fraction of our population. Providing that tax benefit is a small price to pay for the debts we owe those who paid for our freedom through their pain, sacrifice, and service.
Voting YES for Amendment 6 will protect those who stood by our wounded warriors in their times of need.
Bob Asztalos is chair of the Florida Veterans Foundation and a retired Navy Senior Chief. He can be reached at 850-284-1166 or [email protected]