Gov. Perry Signs Legislation for Veterans and Surviving Military Spouses

AUSTIN, May 30, 2013 - Gov. Rick Perry today observed Memorial Day by signing Senate Bill 163, House Bill 97, Senate Bill 1476 and House Bill 1514, which provide important resources and support to veterans and surviving spouses of members of the military who have been killed in action.

"Every day, American service members sacrifice their lives for the freedoms we cherish, and it is appropriate that on this day of remembrance and thanks that we would strengthen our commitment to our veterans and military families," Gov. Perry said. "Though no words or actions can heal the wounds of combat or return a lost loved one, Texas is honored to give back to veterans and their families."

Senate Bill 163, authored by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and sponsored by Rep. Chris Turner, grants a total property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a member of the military killed in action. The spouse may transfer the actual dollar amount of the exemption to new property, as long as they have not remarried. The exemption is contingent upon voter approval of the related constitutional amendment, HJR 62.

"Families who have lost a service member have given enough to our nation," Sen. Van de Putte said. "They should not be further burdened by property taxes on their homes. We can never fully repay these families for what they have given to our nation, but hopefully these tax exemptions will make their lives easier."

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