Cold War Veterans in Rhode Island Now Eligible for Property Tax Exemption

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A World War II veteran salutes a Korean War veteran
A World War II veteran salutes a Korean War veteran as part of the Points of Light procession during the 40th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, R.I. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer James Foehl)

WARWICK, R.I. — Military veterans from Rhode Island who served during the Cold War are now eligible for a property tax exemption even if they did not serve during a declared war or conflict under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Daniel McKee.

For the purposes of the legislation, the Cold War is defined as the period from 1947 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The state's veterans property tax exemption, which varies by municipality, applied to veterans dating to the Spanish-American War.

“Our veterans have served the nation with valor and dignity. We must always be sure to appreciate them and show them a debt of gratitude, because it is their heroism that keeps us free,” McKee said in a statement. “That goes for all veterans. Our veterans who served in uniform during the Cold War were gallant in protecting our American ideals."

The legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson, D-Warwick, and state Sen. James Seveney, D-Bristol.

The bill corrects an “injustice" to veterans who served during peacetime, especially women veterans, Vella-Wilkinson said.

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