Legislation signed into law Friday in New Castle County allows disabled service members and veterans partial relief from their property taxes when they move in. They previously had to live in the county for three years to qualify for the tax break.
More than 170 New Castle County veterans already get partial relief from their property taxes.
But County Executive Matt Meyer says after learning of one disabled veteran named Jamie Frei who has not lived in the county for three years, he felt the original code was unfair.
"If you’re are a disabled veteran, if you fought for our country, if you served our country, you deserve property tax relief from day one that you purchase a property in New Castle County," Meyer said.
By scrapping the residency requirement to get this exemption, Meyer said he hopes more veterans will make New Castle County their home.
"If it spreads the message and the brand that New Castle County is a welcoming place and a positive place for those who served and served with dignity and sacrificed a little bit for our country, that’s not a bad thing," he said.
Last week, Meyer announced the county needs a tax hike for its 2019 budget plan. He says one parcel’s partial relief from property taxes out of 210,000 parcels in the county would have an intangible effect on the budget.
Disabled military service members and veterans are exempt from paying the first $37,000 of the assessed value of their primary home in New Castle County.