Tax Attic: Disabled veterans exemption

We were only gone for a week. Deb and I went family camping up to Interlochen State Park along with both daughters, son-in-laws, grandkids plus assorted extended family members. It was our first visit to Interlochen and we were impressed. The park is situated on Duck Lake and across the road from the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp, which is located on Green Lake. Duck Lake is one of those up-north lakes that has water that is so clear you can see down about 15 feet; is pretty much weed-less; is large enough for tubing and skiing; and has fish in it that are willing to bite. The only negative we could come up with is the boat ramp is a little steep. The Coons have a 19 ½ foot open-bow, ski-type boat and a cousin has a similar, 20 footer so a steep ramp isn’t much of a negative. I want to thank Nick and Linda Malone for recommending that we take a look at Interlochen. That was wonderful advice.

We had a very nice week up there while it seems that moles had a wonderful week chewing up our lawn. It only took them a week to make our front lawn parkway look not only terrible but almost dangerous to walk on. Tunnels are everywhere. It looks like there must be at least 300 moles creating tunnels. I think one of my stops tomorrow will be Rockford’s Ace Hardware to buy some of those gummy candy, environmental-friendly, night crawler -type mole killers. I have tried many types of traps in the past but have found that the moles smarten up before I can get the last one. I have depended on getting a few and then the others either dying of old age or moving on to the lawn of one of my neighbor’s. Not too neighbor-friendly but effective. This time, I will hope to get all 300 of those little pests before they can go next door.

This week, allow me to discuss how Michigan helps veterans, especially disabled veterans, to pay less property tax. A 100% Disabled Veteran may qualify for a total exclusion of all property tax on a personal homestead by filing a form 5107, Affidavit for Disabled Veterans Exemption. Public Act 161 of 2013 created the exemption that must be claimed annually by the disabled vet by filing Form 5107 with the local assessor. In somewhat of a quirk, a veteran can have more than one disability that together adds up to at least 100% and still qualify for the exemption. A veteran buying a property during the year can qualify from the purchase date by filing the affidavit along with a copy of the closing document. A limiter that applies to all homestead property tax credits is that property with a taxable value of more than $135,000 does not qualify for relief.

A less than 100% Disabled Veteran can still potentially qualify for a reduced amount of credit by filing a Form MI-CR-2. This is a credit that has been in existence or as long as I can remember but it is a little used credit. A veteran with as low as a 10% disability may be able to claim a credit. However, the regular rules apply in that a veteran with Total Household Resource income of more than $50,000 does not qualify for the credit nor does the veteran qualify if the personal residence has a taxable value of $135,000 or more. In the right circumstance, it is worth investigating. This is Jerry Coon signing off. I have some moles to eliminate.

Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent.

He owns Action Tax Service on Northland Drive in Rockford.

Contact Jerry at www.actiontaxservice.com