By Joel Anderson and Ernie Dronenburg
President George Washington, our first commander-in-chief, is attributed with foreseeing that the willingness of future generations to serve our country in uniform would be “directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
Fortunately, Americans have heeded advice from the father of our country and taken great steps to recognize the countless brave men and women who risked and sacrificed so much for the preservation of our freedom. From Veterans of Foreign Wars to the American Legion to AMVETS, many wonderful organizations have been founded to aid and assist our returning soldiers, ensuring that their service is recognized and appreciated.
One of the best services provided for our military veterans has been the establishment of Congressionally-chartered veteran halls. These veteran halls are a permanent place in our communities for veterans to meet regularly with those whom they have served, garnering comradery and friendship among peers.
This social interaction has helped veterans in dealing with the lingering effects of combat. In fact, many have described these halls as one of the few places where they feel safe to talk about their most difficult wartime experiences.
In addition to being a vital resource for veterans, these halls also play an important role in their surrounding communities, providing a place for public meetings, memorials, and other special events.
Given their non-profit status and enormous societal benefits, these veteran organizations are rightly exempted from certain tax requirements. In California, however, veteran halls have not all been granted the full standing they deserve. The desire of Congress was to provide a permanent location for veterans to meet and legislation is needed to clarify the intent of the law and stop misapplication that has resulted in several veteran halls closing their doors.
That is why we have partnered with veteran organizations from up and down the state to introduce Senate Bill 2. SB 2 will align state law to reflect the unique nature of these veteran service organizations, providing needed clarity to local governments in correcting their misinterpretation of the law. When passed, this legislation will protect these veteran organizations from an erroneous property tax burden and ensure the continued operation of veteran halls.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: