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Real Estate Tax Exemption

Real Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans

On November 2, 2010, by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia ratified a proposed amendment, adding Section 6-A to the Constitution of Virginia. It went into effect on January 1, 2011.

Section 6-A. Property tax exemption for certain veterans.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6, the General Assembly by general law, and within the restrictions and conditions prescribed therein, shall exempt from taxation the real property, including the joint real property of husband and wife, of any veteran who has been determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its successor agency pursuant to federal law to have a one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability, and who occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence. The General Assembly shall also provide this exemption from taxation for real property owned by the surviving spouse of a veteran who was eligible for the exemption provided in this section, so long as the surviving spouse does not remarry and continues to occupy the real property as his or her principal place of residence.

This means, if the application is approved, localities must exempt from taxation:

  • The dwelling that is the principal residence of the qualifying veteran and up to one acre of land (or more if an exemption for greater than one acre is provided to elderly and handicapped persons).
  • Owned by a Veteran with a 100% service-connected, permanent and total disability, who is/was alive on or after Jan. 1, 2011
  • Or the surviving spouse of such veterans, (§ 58.1-3219.5)
  • Or the surviving spouse of any member of the United States armed forces who was killed in action, which includes the DOW designation. (§ 58.1-3219.9)
  • Veterans rated at less than 100% but who the VA rates at 100% due to individual unemployability AND are rated “permanent and total” qualify for the exemption.
  • The exemption shall remain provided that the disabled veteran or surviving spouse
  • Occupies the real property as their principal place of residence;
  • For surviving spouses, provided they do not remarry.
  • For surviving spouses of 100% disabled veterans, provided they do not relocate to a new primary residence*
  • For surviving spouses of KIA/DOW, they are allowed to move and take the exemption with them

*In 2017, an initial resolution to conform the two sections of code to allow all surviving spouses the exemption without any restriction on moving to a new principal place of residence was offered as HJ562 (Miyares), which incorporated HJ697 (Byron) and it was approved. It will be on 2nd Resolution in the 2018 Session, and if it passes it will be placed before the voters in November 2018.

Proposing an amendment to Section 6-A of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to real property tax; exemption. This exemption applies to the surviving spouse’s principal place of residence without any restriction on the spouse’s moving to a different principal place of residence.

  • The regulations for 58.1-3219.5 with the VAC on 9/18
  • RIS will publish the regulations for 58.1-3219.9 Spring 2018.

The Policy & Guidelines for Commissioners of the Revenue and Other Assessing Officials for §§ 58.1-3219.5 and 58.1-3219.9 is a public document that was distributed to the Virginia Commissioners of the Revenue Association, and has been submitted to the Library of Virginia as part of the State Documents Project and is available upon request from DVS.