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AARP Supports Constitutional Amendment for Property Tax Relief

Virginia voters have a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment Nov. 2 that would give local governments the power to grant property tax relief to older homeowners.

The proposed constitutional amendment would give local authorities the ability to create their own income limits or other criteria to grant property tax relief to property owners age 65 and older. Currently, only the state can grant such exemptions.

When voters go to the polls on Nov. 2, the ballot question will read:

“Question: Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently and totally disabled?”

AARP Virginia urges a “yes” vote on this amendment.

Under the Constitution, the General Assembly may give localities the power to grant full or partial exemptions from real estate taxes to persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled. The exemption applies to owner-occupied property used as the sole dwelling of such persons. The exemption is currently available only to such persons who bear "an extraordinary tax burden" in relation to their income and financial worth.

The proposed amendment removes the requirement that tax exemptions are available only to such persons who bear "an extraordinary tax burden," and gives the General Assembly authority to permit localities to determine their own income or financial worth limitations for tax exemptions for persons 65 years of age or older or for persons permanently and totally disabled.

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