Veteran appeals Alaiedon Township's decision on tax exemption

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ALAIEDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) James Armstrong served in the Navy just before the Korean War more than 60 years ago. Now, the 85-year-old has been deemed unemployable, and his lawyer Paul McCord says that entitles him to a total exemption from paying property tax.

"The state of Michigan is appreciative of its veterans, the United States is appreciative of its veterans, this is a program that is available to certain veterans, and he's entitled to it," McCord said. Armstrong applied for the exemption, but Alaiedon Township denied it. McCord says the Township hasn't yet said why, and his firm is helping Armstrong appeal the decision.

"We took this case on voluntarily because we believe it is important to be of service to this population, and we think he's entitled to it," McCord said. The Michigan Legislature unanimously passed a bill that exempts disabled veterans from paying property tax in 2013. McCord says it's not clear if the disability has to be a result of having served for the veteran to qualify, Armstrong's was not.

"It's important not just for this individual but important for the whole broader scheme of what the exemption was meant to accomplish," McCord said. He says it's important to his client because it could save him about $5,000 a year in taxes.

"This particular individual is 85 years old and on limited means, so it would have a large percentage impact," McCord said.

The appeal has been sent to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. McCord says he is still waiting on the Township's response.

News 10 reached out to the Alaiedon Township Board, but could not get in contact with anyone there and did not receive a response to inquiries at the time this was published.

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