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District Office: (979) 848-1770
Monday, February 2, 2015

Bonnen Files Legislation in Support of Veterans' Spouses

Insider's Report Vol. 10 No. 11

Last week, I filed my first bills for the 2015 session, House Bill 992 and House Joint Resolution 75, in support of the surviving spouses of our U.S. veterans.  I helped lead past legislative efforts to  enable the surviving spouse of military veterans to receive a tax exemption on their home property. However, due to the way that the previous legislation was written, the Attorney General ruled that not all surviving spouses qualified for this benefit.   I have been honored to work with my constituent, Beth Calhoun, a deserving spouse of one of our military heroes who was inadvertently left out from receiving this exemption.

In 2009, the Legislature and Texas voters overwhelmingly passed a bill and constitutional amendment to provide an exemption from taxation of the total appraised value of a 100% disabled veteran's home property.  In 2011, the Legislature and Texas voters approved the transferability of a total property tax exemption to the surviving spouses of totally disabled veterans.  However, the Texas Attorney General later ruled that this exemption did not apply to the surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran who passed away prior to 2009.

I fully intend to fix this problem by extending the exemption to all surviving spouses of a total disabled veteran regardless of when the veteran passed.  Should HB 992 and HJR 75 be passed by the Texas Legislature and supported by our Governor, it then must be approved by Texas voters on the November 2015 constitutional amendment ballot.

As we recognize the many brave men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect our great country, we must also remember their families' sacrifices as well.  I will continue to support our military and their families and do everything in my power through the Texas House of Representatives to ensure that they are not forgotten.