Surviving spouses will receive property tax exemption as a result of passage

ARLINGTON, TX — Yesterday, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, which will provide a property tax exemption to the spouses of service members who have given their lives in service to our country. State Representative Chris Turner and Senator Leticia Van de Putte authored and passed the measure, HJR 62, which placed the proposition on the ballot.

“Over the last several years, Texas has been a national leader in honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families, not just with our words, but also with our deeds,” said Turner. “With the passage of Proposition 1, we are now able to provide this benefit to the very special group of Texans whose spouses have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.”

Turner was inspired to author the measure after hearing Malia Fry’s story. Her husband, Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry of Lorena, lost his life in Iraq on March 8, 2006 while disarming improvised explosive devices. In addition to Malia, Sgt. Fry left behind three children, all under the age of 10 at the time of his death.

“I want to thank Representative Chris Turner and Senator Leticia Van de Putte for their leadership on this and so many issues impacting service members and their families,” said Malia Fry. “Now, widows like me will be able to better provide for our children. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to the people of our state, who through voting for this proposition not only honored the sacrifice made by the thousands who lost their lives protecting our freedom, but for the sacrifices made by those they have left behind.”

Beginning January 1, 2014, spouses of service members who gave their lives in service to our country will receive an ad valorem tax exemption on their residence or future residence. According to the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the average Texas homeowner pays about $3,170 a year in property taxes.