- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislation that would provide additional property tax breaks for veterans was up for review Thursday in the Iowa Senate.

A Senate subcommittee approved the bill, which would expand tax credits. The measure now goes to the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee for its consideration.

Under the proposal, veterans considered fully disabled with a service-connected injury would be exempt from paying any property taxes. The bill also would boost the amount of property tax credits available to all veterans in the state. Currently, all veterans in Iowa get a small property tax credit.

Senators on the subcommittee expressed support for the proposals, but said they needed to review costs and whether the state could make up any lost property tax revenue at the local level. The price tag of the proposals has not yet been determined.

“We’re going to have to know if we’re going to pump money in this from the state,” said Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center.

Advocates for veterans testified in favor of the proposals, particularly the credit for the disabled.

“We feel that veterans need help, especially disabled veterans,” said Dan Gannon, a commissioner on the Iowa Commission for Veterans Affairs. “What we’re asking for, we feel it’s time that some of these veterans get some money back.”

Gov. Terry Branstad has made support for veterans a key policy focus this year. A spokesman for the governor said Branstad has not reviewed the bill.

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