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Review of all things Real Estate: Disabled veterans property tax exemptions

I came upon this information on the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk website. Since we have a high number of veterans in our market and likely a high number with service-related disabilities, I decided this information might be valuable either to the disabled veterans and/or to spouses of disabled veterans.

I copied and pasted the General Info section and the FAQs (frequently asked questions) as these seemed the most salient. People seeking additional information might want to visit https://www.sdarcc.gov/content/arcc/home/divisions/assessor.html

Disabled Veterans' Exemption

The Disabled Veterans' Exemption is available for qualified veterans or the unmarried surviving spouse of the veteran to reduce their property taxes. The exemption amount is adjusted annually due to inflation. Find out qualifications and how to apply below.

General requirements:

You must submit the following information to file for the exemption:

• A completed Disabled Veterans’ Exemption Claim, or by calling the at the Assessor’s Office Disabled Veterans’ Exemption Section at 619-531-5773.

• A copy of the veteran’s DD214 stating the character of service.

• A copy of the veteran's rating decision letter from the Veterans Administration indicating 100% service-connected disability or compensated at 100% due to unemployability along with the effective date of rating.

• The complete rating decision letter from the Veterans Administration indicating 100% service-connected disability and effective date of rating.

• Disabled Veterans' Exemption Household Income Worksheet (only for low-income applicants).

Basic and low-income levels:

There are two levels of the Disabled Veterans' Exemption: basic and low-income.

• The basic exemption is available to a qualified veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse regardless of income.

• The low-income exemption is dependent upon the annual household income of the veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse.

Deadline to file:

A qualified applicant must file by the end of the calendar year for the tax year in which they wish to seek relief. For example, an applicant acquiring property in March 2022 must file an exemption claim by December 31, 2022, in order to be considered timely.

Claims received after that date are still eligible for exemption, but will only receive 85% of the appropriate exemption for that year. Applicants will then receive 100% of the appropriate exemption every year thereafter.

• Claims for the basic exemption require a one-time filing. The exemption will then be applied automatically every year thereafter until no longer eligible.

• Claims for the low-income exemption require an annual filing. The annual filing deadline is Feb. 15.​

Who is eligible for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption?

Veterans of the United States military who are rated 100% disabled as result of a service-connected disability, or who are compensated at 100% due to unemployability ​

Are surviving spouses eligible for the Disabled Veterans' Exemption?

Yes. An unmarried surviving spouse may qualify if:

• The disabled veteran was eligible for the exemption during the veteran’s lifetime or whose death was service connected

or

• The veteran died on active duty as the result of a service-connected disease or injury.​

What is necessary for the surviving spouse to file for the exemption?

In addition to the items listed above, the unmarried surviving spouse must submit the following information:

• A copy of the marriage certificate

• A copy of the death certificate

• Additional documentation may be required

What determines the amount of the exemption?

The exemption depends on the assessed value of the property, percentage of ownership, timeliness of filing a claim for the exemption and household income of the veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse. ​

How do I qualify for the low income exemption?

To qualify for the low-income exemption, the household income of the qualifying veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse must not exceed the state’s annual income limit. Low-income exemptions require an annual filing.​

Must I file for the exemption every year?

Claims for the basic exemption require a one-time filing. The exemption will then be applied automatically every year thereafter until no longer eligible.

Claims for the low-income exemption require an annual filing. The annual filing deadline is Feb. 15.​

May I file for this exemption retroactively?

Yes. California State law allows retroactive filings in some cases, subject to late-filing penalties.​

For more information, call 619-531-5773 or email [email protected].

 

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