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August 11, 2022

18 Best States for Veterans to Buy a House (The Insider’s Guide)

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In this post, we list and explain the 18 Best States for Veterans to Buy a House this year.

We ranked the best states for veterans to buy a home by analyzing the states with no property tax for veterans (typically you must have a 100% P&T VA rating, with a few exceptions).

While all 50 states offer some sort of disabled veteran property tax exemption, our research and analysis uncovered 18 states with zero property tax for disabled veterans, meaning eligible veterans are exempt from paying any property tax on their primary residence.

Alright, let’s explore the top states to buy a home (listed in alphabetical order) that are VA exempt from property tax for 100 percent disabled veterans and surviving spouses.

You might also like the following blog post:

Best States for Veterans to Buy a House (2023 Edition)

These 18 states (of 50) offer full property tax exemption for 100 disabled veterans!

#1. ALABAMA

Alabama 100 Percent Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Alabama veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence (with no income limitation).

A veteran’s surviving spouse may be entitled to the same exemption to which the veteran was entitled with some limited exceptions.

Source: Alabama Homestead Exemption Comparison Chart

#2. ARKANSAS

Arkansas 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Arkansas veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

To qualify for the exemption, the veteran must own the property and must have a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating OR have been awarded Special Monthly Compensation by VA for (1) The loss or loss of use of one or more limbs or (2) Total blindness in one or both eyes.

A veteran’s surviving spouse and minor dependent children are entitled to the same exemption to which the veteran was entitled.

The surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption only so long as he or she remains unmarried.

If he or she remarries and the marriage is terminated, the exemption is reinstated

Source: Arkansas Code Title 26. Taxation § 26-3-306. Disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and minor dependent children

#3. CALIFORNIA

California 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

California veterans with a 100% P&T VA disability rating are closely watching Senate Bill SB-1357.

This bill will grant veterans who have a 100 percent P&T VA disability rating a full property tax exemption on their primary residence effective January 1, 2023 (the bill continues for 10 years through January 1, 2033).

In addition, veterans who are blind in both eyes or who have lost two or more limbs as a result of their military service also receive the full property tax exemption.

Source: SB-1357 Property Taxation Exemption: Disabled Veteran Homeowners

#4. FLORIDA

Florida 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Florida veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are exempt from paying any property taxes on their primary residence, so long as the veteran is a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the tax year for which exemption is being claimed or was a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year the veteran died.

Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by a veteran who was honorably discharged and has been certified as having a service-connected, permanent and total disability, is exempt from taxation of the veteran is a permanent resident of Florida and has legal title to the property on January 1 of the tax year for which exemption is being claimed. (FS 196.081(1))

Any real estate owned and used as a homestead by the surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces who died from service-connected causes while on active duty is exempt from taxation if the member was a permanent resident of this state on January 1 of the year in which the member died. (FS 196.081(4)(a))

If the homestead was jointly owned, the surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption, provided he or she continues to live in the home and remains unmarried.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue Property Tax Benefits for Active Duty Military and Veterans (PT-109)

#5. HAWAII

Hawaii 100 Percent Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Hawaii veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

If the property is jointly owned, it is exempt if either spouse resides there.

If the veteran dies, the property remains exempt if the veteran’s surviving spouse continues to own and occupy it and does not remarry.

Source: Hawaii §246-29 Homes of Totally Disabled Veterans

#6. ILLINOIS

Illinois is one of the best states for veterans to buy a home

The state of Illinois is one of the best states for veterans to buy a home, as it offers a full property tax exemption for disabled veterans with a VA rating of 70 percent or higher.

Illinois veterans or surviving spouses of veterans with a service connected VA disability rating of 70% or higher are exempt from paying any property taxes on their primary residences.

Surviving spouses of veterans who are killed in the line of duty receive additional property tax relief to assist families in maintaining their homes.

A 100% reduction to the EAV on the primary residence is available for surviving spouses of veterans who are killed in the line of duty.

Source: Illinois 35 ILCS 200/15-169

#7. IOWA

Iowa 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Iowa veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

This benefit also applies to Iowa veterans who hae been rated by the VA as Individually Unemployable (100% TDIU).

A surviving spouse who is the beneficiary of a qualified veteran’s estate may continue to receive the credit already granted to the homestead until the spouse changes homesteads or remarries.

If the surviving spouse changes homesteads, or the homestead did not receive the credit during the qualified veteran’s life, the surviving spouse will need to provide a current DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) or CPD (Compensation and Pension Death) letter to receive the tax credit.

A surviving spouse who receives DIC payments is eligible for the credit even upon remarriage.

Source: Iowa Department of Revenue

#8. MARYLAND

Maryland 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Maryland veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence, and eligible veterans may apply at any time, and do not have to meet the September 1 filing deadline.

Certain unremarried surviving spouses may also be eligible for this exemption.

Surviving spouses of military personnel killed in the line of duty may apply for an exemption.

Source: Maryland Property Tax Exemptions for 100% Disabled Veterans

#9. MICHIGAN

Michigan 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Michigan veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

This benefit also applies to Michigan veterans who are (1) Receiving pecuniary assistance due to disability for specially adapted housing OR (2) Have been rated by the VA as Individually Unemployable (100% TDIU).

Surviving spouses remain eligible for the benefit as long as they remain unmarried.

Source: Maryland P.A. 161 of 2013

#10. NEBRASKA

Nebraska 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Nebraska veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The Nebraska disabled veteran homestead exemption is also available to the unremarried widow(er) or a surviving spouse who remarries after attaining the age of 57 for Category 4 of:

  • Any veteran who died because of a service-connected disability;
  • A servicemember whose death while on active duty was service-connected;
  • A servicemember who died while on active duty during wartime; or
  • A veteran who received compensation from the VA because of a 100% disability that was service-connected.

Source: State of Nebraska Homestead Exemption Guide

#11. NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

New Hampshire veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are fully exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

This benefit also applies to New Hampshire veterans who are (1) Rated by the VA as Individually Unemployable (100% VA TDIU); OR (2) A double amputee of the upper or lower extremities or any combination thereof, or paraplegic, as the result of service connection; OR (3) Has blindness of both eyes with visual acuity of 5/200 or less, as the result of service connection.

The veteran’s surviving spouse receives the benefit if he or she resides in the home.

Source: New Hampshire Rev. Stat. Ann. § 72:36-a

#12. NEW JERSEY

New Jersey 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

New Jersey veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The veteran’s surviving spouse is entitled to the same exemption to which the veteran was entitled so long as he or she remains unmarried and owns and occupies the home or another home.

Source: New Jersey P.L. 2019, c. 413

#13. NEW MEXICO

New Mexico 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

New Mexico veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The property of the surviving spouse of a 100% P&T disabled veteran is exempt from property taxation if:

(1) The surviving spouse and the disabled veteran were married at the time of the disabled veteran’s death; and

(2) The surviving spouse continues to occupy the property continuously after the disabled veteran’s death as the spouse’s principal place of residence.

Source: New Mexico Stat § 7-37-5.1 (2019)

#14. OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Oklahoma veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The veteran’s surviving spouse may claim the exemption to which the veteran was entitled.

The exemption may be transferred by either spouse if a new property is acquired.

Source: Oklahoma State Question 715

#15. PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania 100 disabled veteran property tax exemption

Pennsylvania veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

This benefit extends to disabled veterans who as result of military service the veteran are blind or paraplegic or has sustained the loss of two or more limbs

  • Blind: Visual acuity of three-sixtieths or ten two-hundredths, or less normal vision
  • Paraplegic: The bilateral paralysis of the upper or lower extremities of the body

NEW as of January 2021 – Veteran Must Prove Financial Need:

  • The veteran must prove financial need according to the criteria established by the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission if their annual income EXCEEDS $95,279, effective January 1, 2021.
  • Applicants with an annual income of $95,279 or LESS are given a rebuttable presumption to have a need for the exemption.
  • Upon the death of a qualified veteran, tax exemption may pass on to the unmarried surviving spouse if financial need can be shown.

#16. SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina 100 disabled veteran property tax exemption

South Carolina veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are completely exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

Do disabled veterans qualify for a property tax exemption in South Carolina?

  • Yes, veterans with a 100% permanent and total VA disability rating qualify for a full property tax exemption in South Carolina.

What tax exemptions do I qualify for as a disabled veteran in South Carolina?

  • Tax exemption on home and land, up to five acres
  • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by veteran or with a spouse

What documentation is needed to apply for the property tax exemption?

  • Download your VA benefits letter certifying your 100 percent P&T status with an effective date
  • For disabled veteran vehicle tax exemption, a copy of the registration card, bill of sale, or title
  • For home and land exemption, a copy of the recorded deed and proof of legal residence
  • [NEW!] Upload required documents and securely file an Exempt Property application online with MyDORWAY, South Carolina’s free tax portal – https://dor.sc.gov/exempt-property      

What exemptions are available for a surviving spouse of a disabled veteran?

  • One vehicle registered solely in surviving spouse’s name
  • Home exemption if at time of veteran’s death, the surviving spouse acquires sole ownership in the primary residence (fee or for life).

Source: South Carolina Code of Laws Section 12-37-220, General Exemptions from Taxes

#17. TEXAS

Texas is one of the best states for veterans to buy a house

Texas tops our list as the #1 best state for veterans to buy a house because it has some of the most favorable property tax exemptions in the country.

Veterans with a 100% scheduler VA rating, 100% Individual Unemployability VA rating (TDIU), OR a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The veteran’s surviving spouse is eligible for the same exemption provided he or she remains unmarried and remains in the home.

If the surviving spouse relocates, the exemption is limited to the amount received in the last year on the former homestead.

Source: Texas Tax Code Section 11.131

#18. VIRGINIA

Virginia 100 Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Virginia veterans with a 100% Permanent and Total (P&T) VA disability rating or 100% VA rating due to Individual Unemployability, are exempt from paying property taxes on their primary residence.

The exemption applies to the home and up to one acre of land.

The surviving spouse of any such veteran also qualifies for the exemption, provided the veteran died after January 1, 2011, the surviving spouse does not remarry, and the surviving spouse maintains the home as his or her principal residence.

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

About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Founder & CEO

Brian Reese is a VA benefits expert, author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned, and founder of VA Claims Insider – “The Most Trusted Name in Education-Based Resources for Veterans.”

His frustration with the 8-step VA disability claims process led him to create “VA Claims Insider,” which provides U.S. military veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned for successfully submitting or re-submitting a winning VA disability compensation claim.

Brian is also the CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, which is the world’s largest free searchable database for all things related to DoD disability and VA disability claims and has served more than 4,600,000 military members and veterans since its founding in 2013.

His eBook, the “9 Secrets Strategies for Winning Your VA Disability Claim” has been downloaded more than 300,000 times in the past three years and is the #1 rated free VA disability claims guide for veterans.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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