LETTER: Amendment 2 would honor POWs disabled during military service

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | 11:56 a.m. CDT

We urge the voters of Missouri to honor and show their appreciation to former prisoners of war who were totally disabled by service-related injuries by approving Amendment 2 which exempts them from having to pay real estate taxes on their homes.

These are mostly WWII former POWs, but it also applies to any former POWs who live in Missouri and served in any of our wars and conflicts including Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Pueblo and the cold war.

Some opponents of Amendment 2 say this exemption would be claimed by POW imposters. There is indeed a group of several imposters which is comprised of braggarts and blowhards who prey on the respect of honest citizens to feed their fantasies. That, however, is much simpler than passing the rigorous military record checks of the Veterans Administration, then showing disability due to their service as evaluated by Veterans Administration medical disability physicians trained to make that evaluation. Each former POW who is totally disabled by service-related injuries has the VA evaluation, paperwork and a wallet card to show it. Those who are not, don't.

It was estimated by the Oversight Division of the Committee on Legislative Research in a fiscal note issued March 11, 2009 that this amendment "would not duplicate any other program" and approximately 140 former POWs might apply and that the average real property tax bill would be $1,328.

That is quite a reality check from the large numbers being voiced by some opponents of Amendment 2. Additionally the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is quoted in the same report as saying, "This could have a fiscal impact but it would be impossible to calculate and would probably be very small."

It is noteworthy that the bill authorizing this amendment to go on the ballot, HJR 15, was passed unanimously by all committees and both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives with NO dissenting votes.

Join us along with all of your legislators in honoring the totally disabled former prisoners of war and vote "Yes" on Amendment 2.

John and Anne Clark live in Columbia.

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