By Laura Leslie

Raleigh, N.C. — A proposal to give more property tax relief to disabled veterans and surviving spouses of fallen emergency responders is moving ahead – with some key changes meant to ease the concerns of cities and counties.

Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans are exempt from local property tax for the first $45,000 of their property’s value. The version of House Bill 2 that passed the House Finance Committee on Tuesday morning would raise that cap to the first $100,000 of value.

An earlier version of the bill did not cap the exempted value at all and left local governments responsible for absorbing the loss of revenue. But sponsor Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, said officials have learned that there is a high concentration of such veterans in a “relatively small number of counties,” including Cumberland, that would be disproportionately affected.

“We had to tail back our ambitions a little bit,” Dollar told the panel. “The additional amount will be covered by the state in this case and not be covered by the municipalities.”

The proposal would also include in the exemption the surviving unmarried spouses of law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

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