A Veteran’s Guide to Property Taxes

by Vikki P.

in Taxes


Paying property taxes to your city, town, or county is part of a home owner’s responsibilities. Property taxes are computed based on your home’s assessed value. Don’t get confused because the assessed value and appraised value are two different things. To make it simple, the appraised value is simply the market value of a property in today’s market while the assessed value is used by taxing authorities to put a dollar value in the property for taxing purposes.

Most states do offer a property tax reduction for Veterans.

Though each state has its own guidelines, most states measure property taxes by mils (one mil means $1 for every $1,000 value of a home). So for example, if you have a house worth $100,000 with a 3.5 mil property tax the owner will have to pay $3.50 for every $1,000 in value or simply $350. However, regardless of how these taxes are computed, a home owner owes this amount to the government. If you have a mortgage, some lenders require monthly property tax payments as part of the mortgage payments. If this is not your case, then your town will ask you to pay property taxes every 3-6 months wherein you have to pay in full on its due date.

Check with your local taxing authority to find out more.

However, under certain circumstances, more than 30 states have given local property tax relief to veterans. Though not all towns or cities participate, most of the time, veterans can receive a break on property taxes. Property tax relief may come in different forms – like exemptions, abatements, frozen assessment rates, or direct rebates on taxes. New York, for instance, has a number of property tax exemptions for veterans. In South Carolina, a veteran receives an exemption on the first $50,000 of the assessed value. In Maryland, veterans with service-related disabilities receive full exemption from paying property tax liability.

Since each state, town, or city’s guidelines on property tax exemptions for veterans vary, it is best to consult someone from your state’s Department of Revenue office to learn more.

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dean September 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

I am looking at buying my retirement home, I am a veteran of the Iraq war. I just want to know where I wont have to pay property taxes or at least very little so I can live off my retirement beter. Or atleast what states offer the best cost of living for a retired war vet.

themightyquin October 25, 2010 at 9:40 am

Hello Dean,

Thanks for the comment.

The following states have NO STATE INCOME TAX -
Nevada, Washington State, Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming are generally good for veterans. While I served, I was a resident of Washington State and my pay was higher than all my fellow colleagues simply because of the tax laws there.

However, Blue states like Washington have higher taxes elsewhere… That means your bigger taxes like property taxes will be higher! If your really looking for a good deal, Texas or Nevada would be difficult to beat because they don’t have state income tax and taxes in general are low.

Matthew Slattery December 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Does Pennsylvania offer tax relief to veterns

themightyquin December 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

Hello Matthew,

The benefits are drastically different between the states and your veteran status. Your best bet is to call your local tax assessors office and ask them directly.

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