Arizona State Veterans Benefits for Property Taxes

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An ongoing national campaign has more or less ensured that U.S. veterans receive at least some type of property tax relief in every state, but some states are more generous than others. Veterans must meet a number of rules to qualify as well.

Property taxes are usually imposed at the county or local level. They’re not state-wide, so the rules can also vary a little from one city or town to the next. That’s the case in Arizona, although the state legislature does retain some jurisdiction over the issue. Individual counties can offer more relief, but they can’t provide less.

Tips

  • Arizona does offer property tax relief to veterans, but it can depend a great deal on whether a vet is disabled.

Do Disabled Veterans Pay Property Tax in Arizona?

Those who are 60 percent disabled or less according to terms set by the U.S. Veterans Administration are eligible for the following Arizona veterans property tax exemptions:

  • $1,500 exemption on assessments of $3,500 or less
  • $1,000 on assessments of up to $4,000
  • $500 on assessments of up to $4,500
  • $250 on assessments of up to $5,000 

There’s no exemption available for assessments in excess of $5,000, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue, and the same exemption amounts and thresholds apply to some veterans who aren’t disabled, but two more rules apply in this case: The veteran must have served for at least 60 days during World War I or a previous war to qualify, and he must also have lived in Arizona prior to Sept. 1, 1945 – 74 long years ago. That rules out a lot of vets.

There are a couple of loopholes for those whose disabilities are related to their service, however. You need only have lived in Arizona for a minimum of four years before entering the service if you weren’t there in 1945, and the World War I rule is lifted. But these rules kick back in again if your injury is not service related.

Exemptions for Disabled Persons in General

Arizona counties offer a more generous property tax exemption to disabled individuals in general, regardless of whether they’ve served their country. It’s a $3,000 exemption on assessments of $10,000 or less as of 2018.

There are income restrictions for this one, however. According to the Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs, your annual household income cannot exceed:

  • $13,200 if you don’t have children under age 18 who are living with you* $18,840 if one or more of your children live with you and are either under age 18 or disabled as certified by a physician 

Again, this can rule out a lot of vets.

Some Differences by County

Your entire property tax can be waived in some cases, but this depends on the county so contact your assessor’s office to find out about eligibility rules in your area.

Maricopa County will subtract $3,965 or more from your property’s assessed value as of 2019, subject to income and other eligibility rules. This exemption applies to all disabled individuals.

Some counties place limits on a property’s assessed value, and some are more flexible about income.

Understanding Automobile Taxes

You’re not necessarily left out in the cold if you don’t own a home. Your available exemption is applied to real estate first, but it can apply to a mobile home if you don’t own real estate, then to your vehicle if you own neither a mobile home nor real estate.

Arizona disabled veteran benefits extend to registration fees for your vehicle as well. Disabled veterans who are 100 percent service-related disabled don’t have to pay either a license tax or registration fees for their vehicles in Arizona, but this tax break is limited to one vehicle a year.

Your vehicle’s value doesn’t add to your total property assessment.

How to Apply

Exemptions aren’t automatic. You have to take some steps to claim them, and some counties require that you do so every year. Deadlines might apply. For example, Maricopa County requires that you apply in person between Jan. 1 and March 1.

Disabled vets will usually be required to provide medical certifications from their physicians and possibly documentation from the Veterans Administration as well. You’ll also most likely need a copy of your deed or the title to your mobile home, a copy of your tax bill and a copy of your tax return to prove your income if required.

If you live in Arizona and have questions or need more information, you can contact an Arizona veterans benefits counselor toll-free at the Arizona Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-852-VETS. You can also call 602-627-3261 for general information.

References

About the Author

Beverly Bird has been writing professionally for over 30 years. She is also a paralegal, specializing in areas of personal finance, bankruptcy and estate law. She writes as the tax expert for The Balance.

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