“Volunteers of America,” our U.S. military and our country’s creation of forced military service with a conscription act during the Civil War and the creation of the draft in 1940 by President Roosevelt, adding to those who served our country. These men and women — “all gave some and some gave all” — leaving widows, children and parents suffering the emotional pain of the loss of their loved ones lives and body, mind and spirit that are consequences of wounds, injury or diseases while serving our Republic so we can remain free.
As a 100% disabled veteran who was honorably medically boarded and honorably medically retired from the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne and 5th Special Forces Group, I am grateful for the movement in Arizona to create a constitutional amendment to honor disabled veterans.
Arizona currently has legislation benefiting 100% disabled veterans; however, disabled veterans with less disability sometimes carry the burden of living life on life’s terms while struggling through life events that are directly related to their sacrifices to our nation and with less support for these injuries or wounds than the 100% disabled veteran. Many groups such as Wounded Warriors, 22 Kill, DAVs, VFWs, American Legion and many others give priceless guidance to these disabled soldiers. Proposition 130 hits the main major life area causing disabled veterans experiencing hopelessness from service connected financial instability.
While attending a few local social events, I have heard expressions that Proposition 130 gives exemptions to property tax when our country is suffering with financial chaos. I have heard “what about our first responders?” or “the wording is not correct or includes too many subjects.” In response, many first responders are military veterans. Proposition 130 would allow the Arizona legislators to determine the amount of the discount already allowed prior to a 1989 court case that rescinded these discounts due to a residency restriction.
Thus, Proposition 130 would allow disabled veterans who are lucky enough to own property, a discounted property tax. Spouses and widows of these disabled veterans are included in this constitutional amendment. Of course, I believe it should have included Gold Star families or parents of disabled veterans also. I have personally experienced many parents struggles when their young soldier 18, 19, 21,...return dead or mentally or physically damaged.
The disabled veterans will still pay property tax; however, it may be discounted by the percent of disability. As usual, there is always red tape to set criteria to impede the spirit of these laws such as you have a low property value or income level added that reduces the disabled veteran population eligible for a property tax discount. It is estimated 100,000 disabled veterans live in Arizona — 30% are severely disabled or around 30,000 veterans who may get a substantial discount on property taxes if they met the restrictive criteria that may be set by our legislators.
The purpose of this letter is intended to express my gratitude to our state of Arizona for seeking a constitutional amendment to honor our “volunteers of America” and to clarify some information surrounding Proposition 130. This disabled veteran has no regrets, loves our Republic, and our state of Arizona, regardless of the outcome of Proposition 130 on Nov. 8. Help me though by encouraging our legislators, if Proposition 130 passes, to “keep it simple”. No red tape restrictions on property values or income levels. Let’s make our Republic great again. Support our “Volunteers of America.” Join me in voting “yes” on Proposition 130.