Counties Request Local Flexibility for Property Tax Credits

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally today testified in opposition to HB 1175 Property Tax Credit for Disabled Veterans before the House Ways and Means Committee.

This bill would mandate that counties grant, by law, a prescriptive property tax credit for specified disabled veterans and surviving spouses. According to the bill’s fiscal note, local property tax revenues could decrease by approximately $43.2 million annually beginning in fiscal 2022.

MACo is concerned with the carryover county fiscal effects of this legislation and would prefer approaches that provide local autonomy to determine the best way to provide tax incentives, rather than those that mandate reductions in local revenue sources.

From the MACo Testimony:

Under current law, veterans with a 100% service-connected disability and surviving spouses are exempt from state and local real property taxes. HB 1175 would require county governments to grant a property tax credit equal to the percentage of a disabled veteran’s service-connected disability rating. This bill would have a significant impact on local revenues, which are sorely needed to fund public health, schools, public safety, infrastructure, and other essential services.

As the focus shifts to restoring our state and local economies in a manner that is safe, equitable, and prosperous for all, counties welcome the opportunity to work with state policymakers to develop flexible and optional tools to create broad or targeted tax incentives, but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.