(Oakland County Press Release, Nov. 28, 2013)
Counselors in Oakland County’s Veterans’ Services Division are ready to help totally disabled veterans meet the Dec. 5 deadline to retroactively claim their homestead property tax exemption for 2013. Under a new Michigan law, Public Act 161 of 2013, totally disabled military veterans may apply for an exemption from property taxes on their primary residence.
“Our Veterans’ Services Division serves more than 72,000 Oakland County men and women who defended our nation in peacetime and war,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Its mission is to help our veterans maximize the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
Under P.A. 161 of 2013, veterans who meet one of the three criteria qualify for a property tax exemption. The criteria are:
~The veteran is rated by the Veterans Affairs as 100-percent permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability
~He or she has received a specially-adapted housing grant from the VA
~And he or she has been rated by the VA as individually unemployable due to a service-connected disability
In order to qualify for the exemption, the veteran must file an exemption affidavit and a document verifying his or her VA disability status with the taxing authority. The exemption is also available to the un-remarried widows or widowers of disabled veterans, if the veteran met one of the above criteria at the time of their death.
“Our accredited counselors are here to help all Oakland County veterans and their families successfully navigate federal, state and local bureaucracies to obtain the veterans’ benefits they are due, including this property tax exemption for totally disabled veterans,” said Garth Wootten, manager of the Veterans’ Services Division and president of the Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors.
Veterans’ Services has offices in Pontiac and Troy. The addresses are 1200 N. Telegraph, Building 26 East, Pontiac and 1151 Crooks Road in Troy. Client hours are 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. County offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29. Walk-ins are welcome.
About Oakland County Veterans’ Services Division
The Veterans’ Services Division has been providing Oakland County veterans and their families with professional veterans’ benefits advocacy and assistance for over 60 years. It has a staff of highly trained and accredited veterans’ benefits counselors who are dedicated to ensuring that the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans are recognized, and that they and their families receive all the veterans’ benefits to which they are entitled. Its goal is to obtain the maximum veterans’ benefits available for its clients through professionalism and advocacy while making the process as simple and understandable as possible. As a division of Oakland County government, it provides services free of charge.