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Letter: Veterans’ exemption is straining taxpayers

Veterans’ exemption is straining taxpayers

The school-based veterans exemption is not about respect for our military veterans but rather a function of tax policy. The argument for or against has become a battle between vets, who feel that not embracing this exemption is a sign of disrespect, and property owners, who have just had $25 to $50 added to their school tax bill every year.

I don’t know anyone who would refute that we owe the veterans who have served our country a huge amount of gratitude and respect. But communities are funded by a tax base. Exemptions distribute the tax burden to the rest of the property owners, and I feel that veterans deserve their payment and support from the collective national community.

People in all localities are increasingly struggling – and leaving – due to a tax burden that’s too heavy. I know many vets who make ample money to pay their fair share of the tax burden. I also know many others who are not vets who struggle every year to make ends meet, and this adds to their difficulty.

The exchanges at School Board meetings, as reported in the media, seem to indicate rather than creating a show of respect to our vets for what they’ve sacrificed, that a decision to adopt another exemption is as likely to encourage resentment from those who feel that having to increasingly supplement others’ tax bills is simply unfair.

RaeAnn Engler