Texas bill could take benefits away from remarried fallen responders’ spouses

Proposition 6 would provide tax breaks for spouses of responders killed in the line of duty, but it only applies if they are not remarried

By FireRescue1 Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A new bill that is up for public vote would give tax breaks to the spouses of fallen responders, but only if they are not remarried.

Your Basin reported that Proposition 6 would allow “an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

The bill continues, and says the break only applies “if the surviving spouse has not remarried since the death of the first responder.”

Cynthia Vetter, widow of fallen Trooper Randy Vetter, said she supports Proposition 6 but doesn’t think it should be tied to her marital status.

“I shouldn’t be penalized in any form or fashion for a future spouse,” Vetter said. “It’s a very complicated issue when you are combining finances and love. I would prefer to keep those things separate … I think most people would.”

Vetter said previous legislation passed this year, House Bill 2119, gives spouses who remarry workers’ compensation benefits for life.

“Does your loss change? No. Did your family sacrifice change? No … remarriage doesn’t take any of those things away,” Vetter said. “Is there a financial reason? Well, if so then let’s examine that. Or is it just the status quo the way it has always been? Is it a language that has always been used? Is it the way that it has always been done? So let’s just question that … let’s not accept that language at face value.”

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