Deadline nears for property tax exemption for Mich. veterans

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- If you are a disabled veteran who received an honorable discharge and live in the state of Michigan, you may be eligible for a refund on your property taxes. You only have until December 6th to fill out the paperwork.

"$900 on our taxes! That's phenomenal because that will help us live a little better and help our children because we also have a disabled daughter," said Claudia Kelley.

Claudia Kelley says her husband Noah fought in Vietnam. She said ever since, he hasn't been the same.

"He can't forget the war. He can't forget killing people. He wakes up with blood on his hands so he's always washing them. My husband has a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," said Claudia.

Claudia says she's thankful Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill allowing veterans to get a refund on their property tax.

Kelley says the money will really help her family out.

"It's awesome. I appreciate it. And I'm thankful that the government has finally helped our vets!" said Claudia.

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski says to be eligible for a property tax exemption, a veteran must meet one of the following requirements:

1) Be rated by the VA as 100-percent disabled

2) Individual unemployability rating

3) Specially adapted housing grant rating

The Veterans Services of Berrien County has been overwhelmed with calls.

They say the appointments to get the paperwork signed are filling up fast.

The treasurer said veterans need to schedule an appointment with their county and open up an e-benefits account as soon as possible.

"They will need to take that paperwork to their local township or city and do it by December 6th and then every community meets for a review in Michigan on December 10th- the times vary- but that will be their opportunity to remove their property tax," said Witkowski.

This property tax exemption has to be renewed year to year for disabled veterans.

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