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Amendment bringing help for veteran spouses

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MONROE, LA. (KNOE 8 News) - This is what Constitutional Amendment #4 will look like on Ouachita Parish ballots on November 6th:

"Surv. Spouse/Deceased Veteran/Homestead Exemp."

Does that make sense to you?

The amendment really calls for the spouses of deceased veterans to get some much needed breaks on their property taxes.

"Let's just say you bought a new house and then let's say the serviceman passed away. This pertains to the wife. The wife gets to claim the homestead exemption too," District 33 Senator, Mike Walsworth, said.

Homestead exemptions give Louisiana 100% disabled veterans with a service-related disability a property tax break of up to $150,000 and this amendment will pass that help to their spouses left behind.

"At most, we think 2,000 families are affected by this," Walsworth said.

The politicians are all in favor.

Two 2012 Senate hearings and one House hearing didn't see a single vote no.

But the amendment comes with its criticism.

"You're continuing to erode the local tax base and that would be, I guess, a criticism," said Walsworth. "Some people will say: 'You need to bring that homestead exemption back down so you can expand the tax base instead of contract it.' Obviously, we're contracting it a little more but this is the right thing to do."

Ultimately, it's up to you, the voter, to check the box on Nov. 6th.

"I would ask them, urge them, please, to read it and to vote yes on this amendment," Walsworth said.

To read up on the amendment yourself, go to this website:

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