Why So Many Green Lights On Structures Across Michigan?
While traveling along the highways and byways of Michigan, you may have noticed a number of county and city government buildings bathed in a green light.
It’s not just a coincidence that these buildings have a green glow. These lights are showing support for our nation’s heroes who have served and sacrificed to protect our country.
Operation Green Light
As a way of recognizing our veterans, Operation Green Light for Veterans is a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Counties, and the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers.
From November 6-12, 2023, county buildings and landmarks across the country are being illuminated green to show support for veterans and raise awareness around the resources available at the county, state, and federal levels to assist veterans and their families. Local businesses and area residents have also joined in, placing a green bulb in their porch lights.
The State of Michigan Offers Special Military Benefits
Current and former military members living in Michigan have a number of special benefits that they may not be aware of. They include:
- Military Pay Tax Exemption. Military pay is exempt from Michigan tax, including military retirement benefits and exit and separation pay.
- Children of Veterans Tuition Grant. This program provides undergraduate tuition assistance to the children of Michigan veterans who were totally and permanently disabled, missing in action or died while serving. Students may receive scholarship assistance for up to four academic years for a total of up to $11,200.
- Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption. A property tax exemption for real property used and owned as a homestead as outlined in state law.
- Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) for Active-Duty Military Personnel. Property owners can retain a PRE while on active duty if their property is rented or leased.
- Property Tax Relief during Active Military Service. Property owned by a serviceperson cannot be sold to pay delinquent property taxes during a tour of active duty.
- Summer Property Tax Deferment. A serviceperson, veteran or widow or widower whose income outside of military compensation is no more than $7,500 per year may be eligible for a summer property tax deferment.
- Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act. The spouse of an individual in the military may not be subject to the state's taxation if they are a nonresident of the state, the service member is present in the state due to military orders, the spouse is solely in the state to accompany the service member, and the spouse maintains a domicile in another state. This act was amended in December 2018 to alternately allow military spouses to elect the same state of domicile as their service member spouse, even if they are not present in that state.
Anyone with questions about tax relief and other benefits for current and past military members is encouraged to go to Michigan.gov/Treasury and click on “Contact”.
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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison