Oklahoma veterans urging voters to approve State Question 715


Wednesday, October 27th 2004, 12:15 pm
By: News On 6


Oklahoma veterans want your support at the ballot box. They say a yes vote on State Question 715 could lighten the financial burden on disabled veterans who made big sacrifices to serve our country.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims has more on the campaign to exempt disabled veterans from property taxes.

It might be the last one on the ballot, but veterans say State Question 715 is one of the most important votes you'll cast next Tuesday. Supporters say it could help a veteran with a permanent disability to live a better life.

Just outside the Tulsa office of the Disabled American Veterans, there's a prayer and a plea. "It’s just so hard to survive so any help is a big importance." Bob Brandt knows the struggles of disabled veterans. He's one himself and he volunteers to help others get their benefits. He says State Question 715 can provide veterans with some much needed relief. State Question 715 would exempt veterans who are permanently and 100% disabled from paying property taxes on their homes.

There are some requirements, they have to own their homes and be a resident of Oklahoma. But the DAV estimates, State Question 715 could help close to 2,000 vets. Disabled vet Lousi Mack: "I think that it would be wonderful to vote this in.” Bob Brandt: "Having to keep from paying taxes on their home whether its $100 a month or $5,000 it’s going to help a great deal."

Jay Thompson served in the Navy for almost a decade. He's 100% disabled, lives on fixed income and supports four kids. He says the exemption would sure help him out. "I wouldn’t have to pay property tax on my house and it would mean more money to help out my children and it would just mean the world, it would put more food on the table cause I am on a fixed income."

Some are concerned Oklahoma schools will lose out on property tax money, if State Question 715 passes. But Bob Brandt says it doesn’t affect enough taxpayers to put schools in a crunch. And he says it’s a small sacrifice we should make for those who've made an even larger one, serving the country.

If State Question 715 is approved, the benefit could live on even after the disabled veteran dies. Surviving spouses would also not have to pay property taxes on their homes.