Michigan grants property tax relief to disabled veterans

Real Estate Agent with Real Estate One


The Dannie Lee Barnes disabled veteran property tax relief act.


There are many laws that get passed by state governments that few people hear abnout or know about. The Dannie Lee Barnes disabled veteran property tax relief act may be one of those new laws. Just enacted by the Michigan legislature during early November, 2013, it was made effective immediately but little has been done to get the word out about the law.


For those who served their country and suffered life changing disabilities because of that service, this is welcome relief. The law applies to only those who have been declared to be 100% disabled by their injuries or who have special needs due to their injuries and to those who lives have been so disrupted that they are now essentially unemployable.


This is also one of those laws that most local County and Township officials may not have heard of yet or know how to implement.  I have posted the law, as it was published by the legislature below. Since it was given immediate effect, it applies to this winter’s taxes, if the disabled veteran can find someone locally who knows how to implement the law.


One aspect of this new law that local officials are sure not to like is that it provides no relief to the local governments for the tax revenues lost due to this change. It is relatively easy for legislators sitting in Lansing to pass laws with the provision – “each local taxing unit shall bear the loss of its portion of the taxes upon which the exemption has been granted.”


Read through the law below and then Veterans who wish to take advantage of this new law should contact their local Township or County officials and ask about submitting their affidavit (see below) of eligibility. You should have your VA paperwork ready as proof of your level of disability.




Act 206 of 1893


211.7b Exemption of real property used and owned as homestead by disabled veteran or individual described in subsection (2); filing and inspection of affidavit; cancellation of taxes; local taxing unit to bear loss; death of disabled veteran; continuation of exemption in favor of unremarried surviving spouse; "disabled veteran" defined.


Sec. 7b. (1) Real property used and owned as a homestead by a disabled veteran who was discharged from the armed forces of the United States under honorable conditions or by an individual described in subsection


 (2) is exempt from the collection of taxes under this act. To obtain the exemption, an affidavit showing the facts required by this section and a description of the real property shall be filed by the property owner or his or her legal designee with the supervisor or other assessing officer during the period beginning with the tax day for each year and ending at the time of the final adjournment of the local board of review. The affidavit when filed shall be open to inspection.


The county treasurer shall cancel taxes subject to collection under this act for any year in which a disabled veteran eligible for the exemption under this section has acquired title to real property exempt under this section. Upon granting the exemption under this section, each local taxing unit shall bear the loss of its portion of the taxes upon which the exemption has been granted.


(2) If a disabled veteran who is otherwise eligible for the exemption under this section dies, either before or after the exemption under this section is granted, the exemption shall remain available to or shall continue for his or her unremarried surviving spouse. The surviving spouse shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1) and shall indicate on the affidavit that he or she is the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran entitled to the exemption under this section. The exemption shall continue as long as the surviving spouse remains unremarried.


(3) As used in this section, "disabled veteran" means a person who is a resident of this state and who meets 1 of the following criteria:


(a) Has been determined by the United States department of veterans affairs to be permanently and totallydisabled as a result of military service and entitled to veterans' benefits at the 100% rate. 


(b) Has a certificate from the United States veterans' administration, or its successors, certifying that he or she is receiving or has received pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing.


(c) Has been rated by the United States department of veterans affairs as individually unemployable. 


History: Add. 1954, Act 179, Imd. Eff. May 5, 1954;¾Am. 1978, Act 261, Imd. Eff. June 28, 1978;¾Am. 2013, Act 161, Imd. Eff.


Nov. 12, 2013.


Popular name: Act 206


Compiler's note: Enacting section 1 of Act 161 of 2013 provides:


"Enacting section 1. This amendatory act shall be known and may be cited as the "Dannie Lee Barnes disabled veteran property tax relief act"."


Rendered Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Page 1 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 172 of 2013

Legislative Council, State of Michigan Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov


Posted by


 Norm Werner

Real Estate One


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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I think helping out disabled veterans in any way possible is a worthy cause. We really can't do enough for them.

Nov 21, 2013 09:36 PM #1
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

What a wonderful releif for folks who need the extra help.  Our Veterans are so special, we need to take care of them, they did their part for us! Good for Michigan!

Nov 21, 2013 10:25 PM #2
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


If it's for 100% disabled vets...I'm all for it. They deserve everything the country can do for them.


Nov 21, 2013 11:41 PM #4
Bill and MaryAnn Wagner
Wagner Real Estate Group - Ocean City, NJ
Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate
Norm, It's about time our veterans received benefits that are representative of the sacrifice they have made. This is a step in the right direction.
Nov 21, 2013 11:56 PM #5
Richard L. Sanderson
Richard L. Sanderson Consulting - Kalama, WA
helping improve local property tax systems


Thanks to you and others active with social media news like this gets out to those who qualify for this exemption.  I be that one of the great benefits of social media and so such active involvement by real estate professionals is that more useful information about real estate tax abatements, credits, and exemptions gets to the qualifying public.  Local governments just don't get the regular media coverage they used to.  Several states have enacted laws to reduce the taxes for disabled veterans, but this is the first state I've seen where it is a full exemption.  Of course when the legislation says "local taxing unit to bear loss" caused by the granting of the exemption, it really means that property owners who do not qualify for abatements, credits, or ex will pay more.  This is a good cause for exemption; don't take my comment as being against helping disabled ve.  But let's be truthful. Whenever property tax abatements, credits, or exem are granted fewer property owners have to share a larger burden of the cost of providing local services.

Nov 22, 2013 12:33 AM #6
Mike Warfel
Mike & Rita Warfel Real Estate LLC - Avoca, MI
Associate Broker

Thanks for getting the word out, I will pass it on to the local groups.

Nov 22, 2013 12:59 AM #7
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Think it is a great idea and is how it should be. They do that here with property taxes.

Nov 22, 2013 08:44 AM #8
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Norm - If there were ever a reason to waive the property taxes for an owner, a disabled veteran would be it.  Great blog and thank you for making people aware of this.

Nov 22, 2013 09:38 AM #9
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I hope this will work for both the vets and the local community.

Nov 22, 2013 12:30 PM #10
Norm Werner
Real Estate One - Milford, MI
Helping the first time and every time

Thanks all for the comments. This Michigan program is for 100% disabled vets, so the room for scamming is pretty low. There are all sorts of tax breaks for big companies, so it's good to see one for peopel who have sacrificed for their country.

Nov 22, 2013 09:05 PM #11
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Norm, I can't see why more states don't do the same. These men and women totally deserve it.

Nov 22, 2013 10:39 PM #12
Garry Armstrong

This is a big deal. I have several Veterans at our post that can benefit from this new law. Thank you to everyone who made this happen.


Garry Armstrong

Commander Post 3256

Nov 26, 2013 02:05 AM #13
Dec 06, 2013 06:50 AM #14
Norm Werner
Real Estate One - Milford, MI
Helping the first time and every time

The deadline for getting relief in winter taxes was Dec 8th, but disabled vets who missed that dealine should still put in their application to make sure they get releif fromth the bigger, summer property taxes. You could always try for belated relief for the 2013 winter taxes, but that may not be granted. 

Dec 06, 2013 10:49 PM #15
About time.
May 04, 2014 12:35 PM #16
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Norm Werner

Helping the first time and every time
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