JUNEAU-Today, the Alaska State Senate passed a bill granting partial property tax exemptions to the widow or widower of a member of the armed services, including the National Guard, whose death is related to their service. Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Senator Kevin Meyer, R-South Anchorage, provides municipalities with the option to provide a property tax exemption on the first $150,000 of the assessed value of the home.
“This bill will help our military families when they need it the most. On top of being emotionally devastated, often these widows and widowers are financially devastated, as well,” said Senator Meyer. “They find themselves suddenly living with a lot less than they had before. This is the least we can do for these military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation.”
The tax exemptions would have to be approved by voters in each municipality or borough to take effect. Last year, Anchorage voters approved a proposition allowing for this type of property tax exemption, by nearly 80% (Proposition 7). However, under current state law, in order for that ordinance to take effect, the Legislature must pass a similar bill also allowing the exemption.
“Disabled veterans and the spouses of disabled veterans already qualify for this benefit,” said Senator Meyer. “There is no reason why someone who will never again get to see their loved one because they made the ultimate sacrifice to fight for our freedom shouldn’t receive it as well, especially when approved by the voters.”
“Senate Bill 73 is another part of our quest to build stronger communities in Alaska,” said Senator Meyer. “This bill supports military families who have built their lives in Alaska, and who have chosen to remain in Alaska, even following the death of their military spouse.”
If passed, Senate Bill 73 would be retroactive to January 1, 2013. Senate Bill 73 now heads to the House for further consideration.