Virginia voters will decide on amendment related to property tax exemptions for veterans and surviving spouses in 2024

In Virginia, a constitutional amendment that would change language regarding property tax exemptions for veterans and surviving spouses will appear on the ballot in Nov.

For the Virginia State Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, the amendment needs to be passed by a simple majority vote in both chambers of the state legislature over two consecutive legislative sessions. 

The amendment, which was introduced to the Legislature as Senate Joint Resolution 231 in 2023, passed the State Senate on Feb. 3, 2023, by 38-0. It passed the House of Delegates on Feb. 23, 2023, by 95-0. The amendment was introduced to the following legislative session as Senate Joint Resolution 3. On Feb. 5, 2024, the Senate voted 40-0 to pass the amendment. On Feb. 21, 2024, the House voted 99-0 to pass the amendment.

The amendment, if approved by voters, would amend language in the Virginia Constitution regarding property tax exemptions for veterans and surviving spouses to say died in the line of duty rather than killed in action. The line of duty determination would come from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Currently, the amendment is the only ballot measure set to appear on the 2024 ballot in Virginia. Voters last decided on statewide ballot measures in 2020, when voters approved Question 1, which created a redistricting commission to draw congressional and state legislative districts, and approved Question 2, which exempted one motor vehicle from state and local property taxes for veterans who have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability.

Voters in Colorado and New Mexico will also decide on constitutional amendments related to property tax exemptions for veterans and their families in 2024. Colorado voters will decide on an amendment that will expand the property tax exemption for veterans with a disability to veterans with individual unemployability status. In New Mexico, voters will decide on two amendments—one amendment that would increase the property tax exemption for veterans, and another that would proportionally apply the disabled veteran property tax exemption according to a veteran’s disability rating.

Since 1996, 33 measures have appeared on the ballot in Virginia, and voters approved 88% of them.