We as a society love to say how much we support our troops, but it is rare that policy makers actually step up to the plate and say “thank you, we are going to make your life a little bit easier because you have decided to protect our nation.”
That is why I applaud Senator Luz Robles’ (D – Salt Lake, District 1) SB 116, Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption. As you might have guessed by the bills title, the law, if passed, would exempt active duty military personnel from having to pay property taxes while they are actually out fighting for our freedoms.
Robles is also running a Joint Resolution (SJR 8) is also advancing through the legislature to add the property tax exemption to our state constitution, directly allowing the people to vote on the matter.
As a nation, we ask much of our service personnel, and give so little back. Take, for example, the lack of a ticker-tape parade for our nations vets in New York when they returned home from Iraq…but that city was more than eager to roll out the red carpet for the winners of a football game.
We as a society don’t want to think about our troops because it forces us to think about why we are fighting wars, or why people fly planes into buildings, or why foreign policy is so hit or miss, or why gay people can hold a gun, or why women are just as capable as a man at something – so it is much easier to pretend that they don’t exist, or if they do; they only exist on the margins.
But they do exist, and oftentimes military service presents both opportunity and struggle – sometimes it also presents the ultimate sacrifice.
Robles is trying to make it just a little bit easier for service men and women to make it while they are serving our nation and her interests (however flawed they may be in peoples eyes). Many people may have many different opinions on the various wars we have been waging, but not very many people are out there blaming the troops for the situation they are fighting around.
By exempting our service men and women from property taxes, we as citizens (by way of state law) are saying “thank you – we’ll pick up the tab while you are out, don’t worry about it.” This bill is a small way we can help those who make a huge sacrifice.
To contact Sen. Robles, Click Here or call 801-550-6434
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To view other bills in the 2012 Bills to Watch series, Click Here
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t include the rant Majority Leader Scott Jenkins (R-Plain City, District 20) had against this bill; he felt that troops have received enough and that we shouldn’t give them any more benefits. I am sure his constituents (many of whom undoubtedly work at Hill Air Force Base) feel about this information. If you would like to contact Sen. Jenkins, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-731-5120
P.P.S. Senator Jenkins should know that the fiscal impact for the average Utah Resident would be $1.03 per home owner and $7.68 per million dollar business.
P.P.P.S. Did you hear the part at the end where Senator Jenkins says that he doesn’t even want to pay his own taxes? Starting to connect the dots now?