Utah Veterans Benefits Expert

Walter Crovo is your Utah Veteran Real Estate benefit expert. I am here to help you maximize all the Utah Veterans benefits you have earned for your service to the people of the United States of America, thank you for all you have done and I look forward to helping you.

The benefits listed on this page are specific to the State of Utah, except where noted, and are generally administered though the State of Utah. They are state funded and as such will vary from State to State.

Disabled Veteran Property Tax Abatement

A Utah permanent place-of-residence property tax exemption equivalent to the military service-connected disability rating percentage is provided for disabled veterans or for their unremarried widows or minor orphans. Veteran’s disability rating must be at least 10%. The maximum property tax exemption, rated at 100% military service-connected disability, is $228,505. To figure out how much your tax abatement will be multiply your percentage of disability by 228,505. Example: 10% disability X 228,505 = $22,850.50 tax abatement. This amount is then subtracted from the taxable value of the property and taxes are paid on the remaining amount. To apply for Utah Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption, request Your Veterans Disability Rating Letter for Property Tax Exemption from the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) at 1-800-827-1000, then file Your Veterans Disability Rating Letter for Property Tax Exemption, along with a copy of the veteran’s U.S. Military active duty release/discharge certificate or other satisfactory evidence of eligible military service, and the tax exemption application, on or before September 1st, to the applicable county treasurer, tax assessor or clerk/recorder located in the county courthouse or county government building of each county seat. All property must be on record as of January 1st of the year you wish to file. However, a recent change allows qualified widows and orphans an exemption to that rule. NOTE: Effective January 1, 2008 disabled veterans will only be required to file for property tax abatement one time. After the initial filing it will automatically renew each year although the counties may require recertification of home address. However, veterans will have to re-file if all or a portion of their abatement is used towards tangible personal property (i.e. vehicles), if their service-connected disability percentage changes, the veteran dies, sales the property or no longer claims that property as their primary place of residence. (Utah Code 59-2-1104 & 1105)

Purple Heart Tuition Waiver

Utah public institutions of higher learning are required to waive the tuition of a Utah resident admitted to an undergraduate program of study leading to a degree or certificate, if the student is a recipient of a Purple Heart. Recent changes have expanded this benefit to include a Masters Degree.

Purple Heart Fee Exemption

Effective 4/30/07, a recipient of a Purple Heart is exempt from paying the following motor vehicle license and registration fees: automobile driver education fee; motor vehicle registration fee; license plate issuance fees; uninsured motorist identification fee; and local option transportation corridor preservation fee. The only fee due is property tax or age-based fee.

Scott B Lundell Tuition Waiver

This Bill waives the undergraduate tuition at state institutions of higher education for surviving dependents of Utah resident military members killed in the line of duty after 9/11/2001. The waiver in this section does not apply to fees, books, or housing expenses. The Utah Department of Veterans Affairs is the administering agency for this benefit. Call 1-800-894-9497 or (801) 326-2372 for information on how to use this benefit.

Honorary High School Diplomas

Veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam who left High School for military service are eligible to receive Honorary High School Diplomas from the school they left. Contact the local school district for information on how to receive the diploma.

Veterans License Plates

Utah veteran’s license plates may be purchased from any DMV for an initial $25.00 contribution to the Utah State Department of Veterans Affairs plus a $10.00 plate transfer fee, in addition to normal vehicle registration and property tax fees. There will also be a yearly $15.00 renewal fee. Proceeds from the sale and renewal of these plates help fund veteran programs within the state. Utah veteran’s license plates display colored decal emblems of the U.S. military branch in which served (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines as well as the American Legion) and are further inscribed “UTAH HONORS VETERANS”. Utah special group license plates for Purple Heart recipients, Pearl Harbor Survivors or former POW’s are exempt of application and renewal fees: however, regular registration and property tax fees still must be paid. Proper evidence to present for special group plates includes Military Order of the Purple Heart or Pearl Harbor Survivors Association membership cards, or DD-214 (& equivalent WD AGO 5355) military discharge certificates. A “Disabled Veteran” plate is also available for Veterans with a service-connected disability. This plate has a one-time $15 fee and no additional renewal fees. Military documentation or VA form 20-5455 must be presented to prove eligibility for this plate. NOTE: This Plate does not qualify for disabled parking privileges. You need not wait until renewal time to purchase the license plates. (Utah Code Vol 2 Section 41: Utah State Tax Commission/Motor Vehicle regulations).

Free Use of Armories

Organizations of war veterans are entitled to have free use of state of Utah armories as meeting places, provided such use shall not interfere with the use of armories by the National Guard or organized militia of Utah. (Utah Code Vol 3, Section 71).

Fishing License Privileges

Disabled Veteran Fishing Licenses are available for Veterans, free of charge, from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. To qualify a Veteran must have obvious physical handicaps, such as, permanently confined to a wheelchair, paraplegic, minus at least one limb, permanently requiring crutches or blind. (Utah Code Vol. 1, Section 23). Special Fun Tags

Allow free admission

To most of the 41 state-controlled parks, campgrounds and other recreation areas throughout Utah. Effective July 1,2009, the new policy now allows Utah veterans to receive a special Fun Tag, free of charge, if they are: Legally Blind, which is defined as vision of 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction, or a field restriction of 20 degrees of less in both eyes; or Non-Ambulatory, which is defined as being permanently confined to a wheelchair or the use of a cane, crutches or mobility device, or who has lost either or both lower extremities.

Special Fun Tag

Allows dayuse access to most Utah state parks, but does not include This Is The Place Heritage Park and does not cover the $2 Davis County Causeway Fee at Antelope Island State Park. The Special Fun Tag does not apply to camping or other special fees. Please call the State Parks and Recreation office at (801) 538-7220 or toll free at 1-877-UTPARKS to have an application mailed to you or log on to www.state parks.utah.gov to download.

Applications can be mailed or faxed to (801) 538-7378
(Utah Code Vol 1, Section 23).

America the Beautiful Pass*

A lifetime entrance pass to most national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. The Passport admits the pass holder and any accompanying passengers in a private vehicle. Where entry is not by private vehicle, the passport admits the pass holder, spouse, and children. The Pass MAY also provides a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and cave tours. It does not cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires. A Pass must be obtained in person at any federal area where an entrance fee is charged or at one of the agencies administering the Pass. It is available to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled. Veterans may obtain a passport by showing proof of a medically determined permanent disability or eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law. A letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating the veteran’s disability rating will suffice. Agencies administering the Pass are Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, and Forest Service.
*Federal Benefits, available in all States

Bus/Trax Reduced Fare Cards

Greatly discounted fares (50% reduced) to ride Utah Transit Authority (UTA) busses and TRAX light rail system are available for veterans meeting one of the following criteria: Forty percent (40%) or greater military service-connected disability rating by VA, in receipt of VA non-service connected pension or regardless of disability rating for veterans & others with transportation disabilities that cause either difficulty boarding or getting off a bus/light rail system, difficulty standing in a moving bus/light rail system, difficulty reading bus/light rail system schedules & understanding information signs, difficulty hearing announcements by bus/light rail system, or difficulty hearing announcements by bus/light rail systems operators. Persons receiving Social Security Disability benefits, SSI, or Medicare also get the UTA Reduced Fare Cards. Elderly persons age 65 and over qualify for Senior Passes at the same price as Reduced Fare Cards. To obtain UTA Reduced Fare Cards go to either UTA location at 167 S. Main St. or 3600 S. 700 W. in SLC,

Complete UTA Reduced Fare Card application form

Present evidence (a VA letter verifying service connected disability rating or non service connected pension, pay $2.00 for UTA photo identification to incorporate on UTA Reduced Fare Card. (Utah Code Vol 4 Section 72, Utah Transit Authority Regulations & U.S. Transportation Regulations) Visit www.ride.uta.com for updated fare information.

Veterans Upward Bound

VUB is funded by the Department of Education and sponsored by Weber State University. VUB provides a valuable service by assisting veterans in obtaining admission to post- secondary schools. Instruction and tutoring are provided free of charge to veterans in math, English and basic computer applications. The services are provided to veterans in Salt Lake, Davis and Weber Counties. For more information, please contact Donna Rigby at 801-626-7173.