Tue November 6, 2012
Utah Votes: Constitutional Amendment to Exempt Military Members from Property Tax
Should active military members be exempt from paying property taxes while they serve? Utah voters will answer that question when they head to the polls on Tuesday.
When Democratic Senator Luz Robles began working to get Constitutional Amendment B on the ballot, she says it was about giving back to those in the military who defend the country.
"This is just an opportunity to say thank you to them and say we know that you are out there serving on a volunteer basis and we want to say thank you and the way we can show that is by shifting those property taxes for the year that you’re serving."
The amendment exempts property taxes on the primary residence of military members who are ordered out of state for active duty for 200 days in a calendar year. Robles says if the amendment passes it would mean a minimal tax increase for other residents.
"It’s basically a shift of $1.03 for another property of about $250,000 and that is what it is going to cost the citizens of the state of Utah."
The legislation had to pass out of the Utah legislature with a 2/3 vote to end up on the Utah ballot. Republican representative Craig Frank of Pleasant Grove voted against it saying everyone has the responsibility to pay property taxes.
"I’m a big proponent of lowering the rate and spreading the base and this runs contrary to that principle." But, Frank says he does support benefits for military veterans.
Over two dozen states offer some sort of tax exemption for military families.