A qualified veteran who is rated 100 percent disabled, or is being compensated at a 100 percent rate due to an injury or disease connected to service, is eligible for a reduction in property taxes. This is known as a Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption, and is a separate and more advantageous exemption for disabled veterans than the standard Veterans’ or Homeowners’ exemptions. However, there are some specific qualifications that must be met.
A qualified veteran is considered one whose military discharge was “other than dishonorable” and whom served in one of the time periods listed in California Constitution Article XIII, section 3(o). Complete qualification descriptions may be found here.
The property tax exemption must apply only to the principal residence of the disabled veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse of a qualified disabled veteran. It must be claimed in lieu of any other property tax exemption. If the qualified veteran is confined in a hospital or other care facility, the exemption may then apply to such place as would be his or her principal place of residence otherwise. The property may be owned by the veteran, a spouse, or jointly. However, it must be either occupied by the spouse, or remain vacant to qualify for a property tax exemption. It cannot be rented or leased.
There are two types of benefits a disabled veteran may choose from. A basic exemption applies for any qualifying disabled veteran whose annual household income is above $40,000. In this case, he or she may claim a property tax exemption on the part of the full value of the residence that does not exceed $100,000. A low-income exemption is also available. Eligibility for it requires a qualifying disabled veteran to have an annual household income of less than $40,000. An exemption can then be taken on the full value of the residence that does not exceed $150,000. These exemption amounts are increased annually due to inflation.
A disabled veteran property exemption claim form for San Diego county can be found here. For assistance in completing this form, or for questions regarding a disabled veteran property tax exemption, contact Heffel Law at (619) 550-3080.