Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 58.1. Taxation
Chapter 32. Real Property Tax
11/26/2020

Article 2.3. Exemption for Disabled Veterans.

§ 58.1-3219.5. Exemption from taxes on property for disabled veterans.

A. Pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, and for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the General Assembly hereby exempts from taxation the real property, including the joint real property of married individuals, of any veteran who has been rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency pursuant to federal law to have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability, and who occupies the real property as his principal place of residence. If the veteran's disability rating occurs after January 1, 2011, and he has a qualified primary residence on the date of the rating, then the exemption for him under this section begins on the date of such rating. However, no county, city, or town shall be liable for any interest on any refund due to the veteran for taxes paid prior to the veteran's filing of the affidavit or written statement required by § 58.1-3219.6. If the qualified veteran acquires the property after January 1, 2011, then the exemption shall begin on the date of acquisition, and the previous owner may be entitled to a refund for a pro rata portion of real property taxes paid pursuant to § 58.1-3360.

B. The surviving spouse of a veteran eligible for the exemption set forth in this article shall also qualify for the exemption, so long as the death of the veteran occurs on or after January 1, 2011, and the surviving spouse does not remarry. The exemption applies without any restriction on the spouse's moving to a different principal place of residence.

C. A county, city, or town shall provide for the exemption from real property taxes the qualifying dwelling pursuant to this section and shall provide for the exemption from real property taxes the land, not exceeding one acre, upon which it is situated. However, if a county, city, or town provides for an exemption from or deferral of real property taxes of more than one acre of land pursuant to Article 2 (§ 58.1-3210 et seq.), then the county, city, or town shall also provide an exemption for the same number of acres pursuant to this section. If the veteran owns a house that is his residence, including a manufactured home as defined in § 46.2-100 whether or not the wheels and other equipment previously used for mobility have been removed, such house or manufactured home shall be exempt even if the veteran does not own the land on which the house or manufactured home is located. If such land is not owned by the veteran, then the land is not exempt. A real property improvement other than a dwelling, including the land upon which such improvement is situated, made to such one acre or greater number of acres exempt from taxation pursuant to this subsection shall also be exempt from taxation so long as the principal use of the improvement is (i) to house or cover motor vehicles or household goods and personal effects as classified in subdivision A 14 of § 58.1-3503 and as listed in § 58.1-3504 and (ii) for other than a business purpose.

D. For purposes of this exemption, real property of any veteran includes real property (i) held by a veteran alone or in conjunction with the veteran's spouse as tenant or tenants for life or joint lives, (ii) held in a revocable inter vivos trust over which the veteran or the veteran and his spouse hold the power of revocation, or (iii) held in an irrevocable trust under which a veteran alone or in conjunction with his spouse possesses a life estate or an estate for joint lives or enjoys a continuing right of use or support. The term does not include any interest held under a leasehold or term of years.

The exemption for a surviving spouse under subsection B includes real property (a) held by the veteran's spouse as tenant for life, (b) held in a revocable inter vivos trust over which the surviving spouse holds the power of revocation, or (c) held in an irrevocable trust under which the surviving spouse possesses a life estate or enjoys a continuing right of use or support. The exemption does not apply to any interest held under a leasehold or term of years.

E. 1. In the event that (i) a person is entitled to an exemption under this section by virtue of holding the property in any of the three ways set forth in subsection D and (ii) one or more other persons have an ownership interest in the property that permits them to occupy the property, then the tax exemption for the property that otherwise would have been provided shall be prorated by multiplying the amount of the exemption by a fraction that has as a numerator the number of people who are qualified for the exemption pursuant to this section and has as a denominator the total number of all people having an ownership interest that permits them to occupy the property.

2. In the event that the primary residence is jointly owned by two or more individuals, not all of whom qualify for the exemption pursuant to subsection A or B, and no person is entitled to the exemption under this section by virtue of holding the property in any of the three ways set forth in subsection D, then the exemption shall be prorated by multiplying the amount of the exemption by a fraction that has as a numerator the percentage of ownership interest in the dwelling held by all such joint owners who qualify for the exemption pursuant to subsections A and B, and as a denominator, 100 percent.

2011, cc. 769, 840; 2012, cc. 75, 263, 782, 806; 2014, c. 757; 2016, cc. 349, 393, 485; 2018, c. 236; 2019, cc. 15, 801; 2020, c. 900.

§ 58.1-3219.6. Application for exemption.

The veteran or surviving spouse claiming the exemption under this article shall file with the commissioner of the revenue of the county, city, or town or such other officer as may be designated by the governing body in which the real property is located, on forms to be supplied by the county, city, or town, an affidavit or written statement (i) setting forth the name of the disabled veteran and the name of the spouse, if any, also occupying the real property, (ii) indicating whether the real property is jointly owned by married individuals, and (iii) certifying that the real property is occupied as the veteran's principal place of residence. The veteran shall also provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency indicating that the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability. The veteran shall be required to refile the information required by this section only if the veteran's principal place of residence changes. In the event of a surviving spouse of a veteran claiming the exemption, the surviving spouse shall also provide documentation that the veteran's death occurred on or after January 1, 2011.

2011, cc. 769, 840; 2020, c. 900.

§ 58.1-3219.7. Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services; rules and regulations; appeal.

A. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the administration and implementation of the property tax exemption under this article. Such rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, written guidance for veterans residing in the Commonwealth and for commissioners of the revenue or other assessing officers relating to the determination of eligibility for the property tax exemption under this article and procedures for appealing a decision of the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services to a circuit court pursuant to subsection B. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services may also provide written guidance to, and respond to requests for information from, veterans residing in the Commonwealth and commissioners of the revenue or other assessing officers regarding the exemption under this article, including interpretation of the provisions of subdivision (a) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia and this article.

B. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall hear and decide appeals by veterans residing in the Commonwealth from a denial of their application pursuant to § 58.1-3219.6 by a commissioner of the revenue or other assessing officer. However, such appeal shall be limited to appeals based upon a finding of fact regarding eligibility criteria set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia and this article. The Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services shall not be authorized to hear or decide appeals regarding a dispute over the assessed value of any property. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the appeal of a decision of the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Services by either party to the circuit court in the locality in which the veteran resides.

2012, c. 594; 2014, c. 757.

§ 58.1-3219.8. Absence from residence.

The fact that veterans or their spouses who are otherwise qualified for tax exemption pursuant to this article are residing in hospitals, nursing homes, convalescent homes, or other facilities for physical or mental care for extended periods of time shall not be construed to mean that the real estate for which tax exemption is sought does not continue to be the sole dwelling of such persons during such extended periods of other residence so long as such real estate is not used by or leased to others for consideration.

2012, c. 782.