Proposition Four could change lives for some Texas veterans
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas — No good deed goes unpunished, but state Rep. Charles Perry would like to change that.
He's authored legislation, known as Proposition Four, that will be on the November ballot and would give veterans who receive homes from nonprofit organizations a discount on their property taxes equal to the veteran’s disability.
The legislation would also apply to the spouses of deceased veterans who receive homes from nonprofit organizations, like Homes for Heroes.
“I strongly urge people to get out and vote on Proposition Four,” Perry said.
The Lubbock community has always been supportive of veterans and rightly so, said the state representative. If an 18-year-old is going to put his future plans on hold and risk his life by volunteering for the military, he deserves help when he comes home, Perry said.
“It’s such a huge jump-start to get some normalcy back to their lives,” Perry said.
The West Texas Home Builders Association contacted Perry and asked for his help. Perry said he was made aware some veterans were unable to pay their property taxes and lost their donated homes.
“It didn’t seem fair to set them up for failure,” Perry said.
The second home built and given away by Lubbock’s Homes for Heroes left the recipient, Louis Flores, an Army veteran, with a $7,000 tax bill, according to George McMahan.
“We didn’t think that was quite fair,” said McMahan, vice president of Homes for Heroes.
If the proposition is passed, Flores and others will receive substantial relief with future property taxes.
“Everybody thought that was a fair way of doing it,” McMahan said.
Homes for Heroes will probably pay the Flores family’s upcoming property tax bill, McMahan said.
When there are no major issues on the ballot, McMahan said people are less apt to vote, but he hopes people will turn out to vote in favor of Proposition Four.
“We encourage them to go vote because it’s a way to show our veterans we support them,” he said.
McMahan said working with Flores on the design and construction of his home was interesting. He saw Flores open up and express himself more.
“He was shy and bashful at first,” McMahan said.
Before being injured by improvised explosive devices in the Middle East, Flores had aspirations of pursuing a future in medicine. McMahan said Flores suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and is considered 70 percent disabled by the military.
Working with Flores, McMahan saw a lot of changes, not only in the project but in the veteran himself. Flores was allowed to work with designers and give some input on certain elements like flooring.
Interacting with Homes for Heroes and speaking to groups helped Flores come out of his shell, according to McMahan.
“It’s almost like building that house healed him,” McMahan said.
AJ Media was unable to make contact with Flores for this story.