A veterans’ tax-savings benefit

Meadows Elementary School recently held an event to thank veterans. The Assessor’s Office also wants to make sure that veterans in L.A. County are aware of the exemptions eligible to them. PHOTO BY BOBBY BLOCK / THE SIGNAL

By Jeff Prang

Los Angeles County Assessor

This past month saw several historical events occur. The first and foremost, of course, was the presidential election.

We have a new president and, for the first time in our republic’s history, we have a female vice president, who is African-American and of South-Asian descent — a fine example of this country’s diversity. 

Also, we celebrated our Thanksgiving; offering gratitude for the immeasurable blessings we enjoy in this great country of ours. Moreover, there were positive reports on a vaccine for this deadly virus that still haunts us to this day. Such welcomed news.

Yes, November was a busy month because something else transpired that may have gone unnoticed but not by my office and that was Veterans Day. 

Veterans Day is a federal holiday and was celebrated on Nov. 11, as it usually is every year. 

Without the sacrifice of our veterans, our very freedom could be at risk; some even pay the ultimate price so the rest of us can enjoy the very Democracy we just experienced this past Nov. 3. 

As a quick reminder, Veterans Day began as Armistice Day because it was celebrating the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. That signing occurred on Nov. 11. In 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor all veterans in all wars.

Not only am I visiting with you about Veterans Day but to remind you that we have tax savings available for veterans.

Here’s how it works: If you are a single veteran with assets of less than $5,000, a married veteran with assets of less than $10,000, or an unmarried surviving spouse of an eligible veteran, you may apply for the Veterans’ Exemption of $4,000, which is applied to the assessed value of your property. Although it is unnecessary for the veteran to reside on that property in order to qualify, this exemption claim must be filed every year.

If you are a disabled veteran, the exemption is even greater. If a veteran is blind in both eyes, has lost the use of two or more limbs or is totally disabled as a result of injury or disease incurred in military service, you may be eligible for a Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption. You may be eligible for an exemption of up to $150,000 of the assessed value of your home. The Veterans Administration must certify the veteran’s disability. Unmarried surviving spouses of certain deceased veterans may also qualify.

We owe a tremendous debt to our veterans, and I say, “Thank you for all that you’ve done, all that you do and all that you will do. Our democracy is built on your service.”

My office offers other several tax-savings programs, as well as the Veterans Exemptions, as just two examples. For additional property tax relief programs, visit assessor.lacounty.gov/exclusions-tax-relief or call (213) 974-3211.

Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang has been in office since 2014. Upon taking office, Prang implemented sweeping reforms to ensure that the strictest ethical guidelines rooted in fairness, accuracy and integrity would be adhered to in his office, which is the largest office of its kind in the nation with 1,400 employees and provides the foundation for a property tax system that generates $17 billion annually. 

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