Disabled vets exempt from real estate taxes

Published 8:25 am Friday, July 1, 2011

DREWRYVILLE—Ramona Rich can now have a Christmas.

Under a new law, the 57-year-old and her disabled veteran husband will be exempt from paying $1,100 in real estate taxes in December for their 50-acre homestead in Drewryville.

The exemption applies to veterans suffering from 100 percent, service-related disabilities.

Rich’s husband, Kenneth, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, suffers from the after-effects of Agent Orange and a nerve disorder that resulted in the amputation of his right leg.

Kenneth Rich, 82, is one of nearly 30 eligible veterans or spouses to qualify for the exemption in Western Tidewater.

Southampton County expects to lose $13,000 in tax revenue to provide the exemption to its 14 disabled veterans, said Commissioner of Revenue Amy Carr.

Eligible veterans should have received notifications from the federal government of their disability status. Qualified candidates will not have to pay taxes beginning this December.

Isle of Wight County has 16 veterans who qualified, which means the loss of nearly $30,000, said Commissioner of Revenue Gerald Gwaltney.

Franklin Commissioner of Revenue Brenda Rickman said the city has no one qualified, but three have filed.

The exemption is also extended to widows or widowers of disabled veterans if the death occurred after Jan. 1, 2011. That’s assuming the surviving spouse does not remarry and remains at the residence.

Kenneth Rich stays at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond.

His wife said the exemption would help her greatly with managing expenses.

“It will cut everything I have to pay in December by half,” she said. “It takes a tremendous burden off of me.”

The couple fought for years to get disability for Kenneth Rich’s ailments.