By Jeff Prang, Los Angeles County Assessor
As we prepare to give thanks this November on Thanksgiving Day, it’s also important to remember those that have served our great nation in the military and honor their courage and valor this Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday celebrated this Nov. 11. Veterans Day, as most of you know, is a tribute to military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
As a quick reminder, Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day, which was proclaimed in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, celebrating the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. That occurred on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. and formally recognized the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918 that ended the war.
In 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor all veterans in all wars. We still celebrate this day, recognizing the tie with WWI, meaning we celebrate Veterans Day the same day every year — Nov. 11 — regardless of the day of the week it falls. If Veterans Day falls on the weekend, it can be celebrated on the Saturday or Sunday and on the following Monday.
Since it’s a federal holiday, a bank holiday and a state holiday, federal and state employees get the day off from work.
Not only am I visiting with you about Veterans Day, but to remind you that we have tax savings’ programs 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 and the Veterans Exemptions are 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.