Nebraska and Iowa Vets May be Eligible for Property Tax Breaks

Posted on Jan 26, 2016

Although many veterans living in Nebraska and Iowa are unaware of it, they may be exempt from paying some or even all their property taxes.  Each state, however, treats vets differently.

In Nebraska tax relief is available to:

  • Veterans with a 100% disability rating — those who have lost the use of two or more limbs or has suffered severe eyesight loss as the result of military service.
  • Unmarried widows or widowers of vets who had a 100% disability rating or who died as the result of a service-connected disability or whose death while on active duty was service-connected.
  • Veterans whose homes are substantially contributed to by the VA.

In these cases, a homestead exemption can be granted but only on the vet’s primary residence.  Those veterans or widows/widowers of veterans listed above qualify for full homestead exemption regardless of their income or the value of their home.

To get the exemption a homestead application must be filed with the County Assessor/Register of Deeds after February 1 and on or before June 30 of each year. Current homestead recipients will receive an application by mail.

Homestead exemptions provide relief from property taxes by exempting all or a portion of the valuation of a home from taxation. The State of Nebraska reimburses the counties and governmental subdivisions for taxes lost due to homestead exemptions.

A veteran in Iowa may receive a property tax exemption of $1,850 on his/her primary residence if the veteran served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime.  Disabled veterans, thanks to legislation passed in 2014, are eligible for a

100% exemption of property taxes.  If you have not applied previously for tax exemption you must apply to your local assessor on or before July 1 for either of these programs. If you have applied previously, you do not need to re-apply. The tax exemption will automatically renew.

As you would expect, in all cases you will need to provide specific documentation. For detailed instructions on applying for tax relief Nebraska vets should go to the website of their county assessor and Iowa vets can start at https://va.iowa.gov/benefits/.

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Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska