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March 8, 2011 (Sacramento)-- Assemblymember Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) announced today that his legislation to provide a tax exemption benefit to widows or widowers of disabled veterans has cleared the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee by a unanimous vote.


“AB 188 would correct an error that currently prevents surviving spouses of disabled veterans who move to assisted living facilities for health reasons from qualifying for a property tax exemption afforded to their spouse,” said Block, who represents the 78th Assembly District.


He added, “This property tax exemption would give a widow or widower peace of mind that they can continue to afford and keep their house while they are receiving care. The unexpected loss of the property tax exemption on top of the significant additional burden of assisted living costs is inequitable and this legislation will help ease that financial stress for these spouses.”


In 2003, legislation was enacted to ensure that a disabled veteran who must leave his or her home to enter an assisted living facility (and thus is unable to occupy their home as their principal place of residence) would continue to receive the exemption, provided the home is not rented or leased out to a third party. Inadvertently, the legislation failed to extend these provisions to another group of persons eligible for the exemption: surviving spouses who enter assisted living facilities. AB 188 would correct that error.


AB 188 would allow surviving spouses of disabled veterans to continue to receive the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption on their home should they need to enter an assisted living facility, provided they have not remarried.


The exemption would also be available to surviving spouses of persons killed in active duty should they need to enter an assisted living facility as well. Currently, the exemption is up to $175,592 for those with household incomes below $51,669 and applies to the principal place of residence.

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