Waterloo-area veterans who’ve been called to military duty since the 9/11 attacks are receiving a special gift this Christmas. With the holiday less than 10 days away, the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors has decided to give local troops a property tax break. This week, the board agreed to set aside $50,000 of county money that qualified soldiers and Marines can draw from for property tax relief. Anyone who served in the Iraq war and the war on terrorism is eligible to get a break of up to $600 on their property tax bills, but the grants won’t be awarded until after February 14th. County officials want to allow time to notify overseas personnel about the program, which appears to be the first of its kind in the state of Iowa. The grants are restricted to military personnel in lower-paid enlisted or officer classifications, and would be pro-rated and divided evenly among applicants if there are a large number. Two other counties in the state — Polk and Woodbury — also offer tax relief to troops, but their policies defer property taxes without interest until a military person returns home from active duty.
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