May be known/cited as the “Dannie Lee Barnes Disabled Veteran Property Tax Relief Act”
ACT NO. 161
MCL 211.7b amended
This relates to:
- Real property used and owned as a homestead by a disabled veteran who was discharged from the armed forces of the U.S. under honorable conditions or surviving spouse described in Sec 2.
The affidavit (MI Dept of Treasury Form 5107) shall be filed at the local assessing office by the property owner or their legal designee. The affidavit is filed with the assessing office between tax day for each year (December 31st) and ending at the final adjournment of the Board of Review in December the following year. This affidavit with proof of eligibility must be filed each year in order to qualify.
Property taxes will be cancelled for any year in which a disabled veteran eligible for this exemption has acquired title to real property exempt under this section. Special assessments are not covered.
- If a disabled veteran who is otherwise eligible for an exemption dies, either before or after the exemption is granted, the exemption shall remain available to or shall continue for their un-remarried surviving spouse. That spouse must be a resident of Michigan and who owns and uses the home as their homestead. The surviving spouse shall comply with the requirements and shall indicate on the affidavit that they are the surviving spouse entitled to the exemption. The exemption shall continue as long as the surviving spouse remains un-remarried.
- “Disabled Veteran” means a person who is a resident of this state and who meets (1) one of the following criteria:
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs has determined this person to be permanently and totally disabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans’ benefits at the 100% rate.
- Has a certificate from the US Veterans Administration certifying that they are receiving or has received financial assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing.
- Has been rated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as individually unemployable.
Short Recap of Sec. 7b changes:
The new law approved 11-12-13 takes effect immediately. Per the guidelines that were not provided to us until December 16, 2013 in STC Bulletin 22 of 2013, the following pertains to this exemption:
The 2014 July Board of Review (JBOR) has now been given the authority to process disabled veterans exemptions for the 2013 year. This review will be conducted for any veteran that met the qualifications by the adjournment of the 2013 December Board of Review (DBOR) yet missed filing the affidavit and supporting documentation by the adjournment of the 2013 DBOR. This is the only time a prior year will be processed.
Beginning with the exemption requests for the 2014 tax year, affidavits with the proper documentation will be processed at the March, July and December Boards of Review for that year. The only authority for appealing a denial of this exemption is to the Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) by filing an appeal within the filing deadline.
This exemption will eliminate property taxes but does not eliminate special assessments.
If taxes were paid prior to the applicant being approved for this exemption, the refund will be mailed to whomever paid the taxes. If that came from your mortgage escrow, you will need to contact them.
If your home was purchased mid-year and you are found eligible for this exemption, you will receive a refund of the taxes you paid for that year or an exemption from taxes you will pay for that year. You may need to provide the Treasurer’s office with a copy of your closing documents.
This exemption is only for the real property owned and used as a homestead. The vacant contiguous parcels that would qualify for a Principal Residence Exemption do not qualify under this act.
The property must be owned by the disabled veteran or their un-remarried surviving spouse and must be their principal residence. If someone else owns the home where qualified veteran lives (ie: home in parent’s life estate and you live there and will receive the home upon their death, or a qualified veteran rents a home and pays taxes for landlord) then the property is not eligible for the exemption.
The Act does not provide for a partial exemption on the property. Therefore, if the property is in a trust and that trust shares ownership of the home with someone other than the disabled veteran and their spouse, the property would not be eligible. Also, if the property is owned by a joint-tenancy wherein each co-tenant owns an undivided share of the property, the surviving co-tenant has the right to the whole estate and therefore the property is not eligible because the veteran is considered a partial owner.
The eligibility of the un-remarried surviving spouse is based on the eligibility of the disabled veteran. In order for the disabled veteran to have been eligible for the exemption, the veteran and spouse would have had to be a resident of Michigan before the veterans’ death. If they lived out of state until the veterans’ death, the surviving spouse is not eligible.
The documentation required to qualify for this exemption must be from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A letter from the County Department of Veterans Affairs indicating they have reviewed their records and the veteran qualifies is insufficient.
The affidavit (MI Dept of Treasury Form 5107) is available at the Independence Township Assessing Department located at 6483 Waldon Center Drive, Clarkston, MI 48346, or by clicking here. The Assessing Department phone number is 248 625-8114.
This information per the State Tax Commission, PO Box 30471, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7971
Phone: (517) 335-3429 Fax: (517) 241-1650 Email: State-Tax-Commission@michigan.gov