(Editor's note: The following is a review of the first of four state questions to be posed to voters on Nov. 4. The remaining questions will be published in upcoming editions of the News-Record.)
Against the backdrop of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, legislators are seeking to help Oklahomans who became 100 percent disabled through injury or illness related to military service during hostilities by relieving them of personal property taxes.
Stringent requirements for the benefit are spelled out in the proposal which will appear on the ballot as follows:
“This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It adds Section 8D to Article 10. The measure takes effect January 1, 2009. It creates an exemption from personal property tax. The exemption would be for the full amount of taxes due on all household personal property. The exemption would apply to certain injured veterans. It would also apply to those veterans' surviving spouses.
“To qualify for the exemption an injured veteran would have to meet certain requirements. First, a branch of the Armed Forces or the Oklahoma National Guard would have to have honorably discharged the veteran from active service. Second, the veteran would have to be an Oklahoma resident.
Third, the veteran would have to be the head of the household. Fourth, the veteran would have to be one hundred percent permanently disabled. Fifth, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs would have to certify the disability. Sixth, the disability must have occurred through military action or accident, or resulted from a disease contracted while in active service. The Legislature could pass laws to carry out the exemption. Such laws could not change the amount of the exemption.”
A “yes” vote will be a vote in approval of the proposed expemption.
A “no” vote would deny the exemption.