Veterans groups are urging legislators to increase a tax break for veterans.

A property tax exemption worth $1,852 is available to veterans who served in a war or were on active duty during peacetime for at least 18 months. The exemption reduces the assessed value of a veteran’s home.

“There’s not been an improvement or an increase of that since 1974, so we feel it’s very important,” Iowa Veterans Affairs Commission chair Elizabeth Ledvina said during an event at the statehouse on Wednesday.

The commission is also calling for more money in the fund that provides grants to first-time homebuyers who’re veterans of the first Gulf War or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in this century. Each grant is worth $5,000 and Ledvina said there are often more applicants than grants available.

“It’s a great thing to move to Iowa and get these benefits,” Ledvina said. “so we need more support to further fund that Home Ownership Grant for our veterans and our service members coming back into the State of Iowa.”

The grants may be used to cover downpayments and closing costs on a home, townhouse or condo that will be the veteran’s primary residence.