Wisconsin GOP Caps Property Tax Credits For Disabled Veterans

As printed in this morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and posted at their website jsonline:

The state provides a refundable income tax credit for the property taxes paid on principal dwellings by veterans who are 100% disabled and their surviving spouses. Spouses of veterans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan also receive the credit if they don’t remarry.

Veterans who are 100% disabled…100% disabled! Like an individual who is 100% disabled is going to be able to hold a job and earn a living wage? And will need extraordinary care from their spouse who likely will also forgo a full time job.

Here’s the gist of the bill:

Last week the Joint Finance Committee voted to limit the amount of property taxes to be reimbursed to $2,500 a year. The committee also created a means test phase-out, so that if the income of 100% disabled veterans exceeds a certain amount, they will be dropped from the property tax credit program. This also would apply to their surviving spouses and spouses of Wisconsin service members killed in action.

Veterans who are 100% disabled…100% disabled! These veterans haven’t already given enough to their country and the State of Wisconsin? Where is the flag waving, flag lapel pin wearing, nothing is too good for our veteran patriots when the chips are down and a veteran really could use some help? WTF?

And of course the assembly’s most out spoken ardent protectors of citizen rights and citizen pocketbooks is right in the heart of the fray:

Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) pointed out that there are plenty of veterans programs, ranging from job training to education benefits, in the next biennial state budget. Lawmakers decided to put a $2,500 cap on the disabled veteran property tax credit and limit eligibility based on income, Kooyenga said, to make it more fair.

“Does it make sense to have a credit that could apply to a millionaire? You could have a million-dollar house but 100% of your property taxes would be paid by the state,” said Kooyenga, a CPA and Army Reservist who served in Iraq (emphasis mine).

Kooyenga didn’t know if anyone now receiving the disabled veteran property tax credit is a millionaire.

“…to make it more fair. What is fair about being 100% disabled? Who cares if he or she is a millionaire…100% disabled is 100% disabled…my goodness how freakin’ petty. One more completely shameful act from the Republicans in Madison.

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