STATEWIDE — On April 5, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed HB 957 into state law. The bill, which was passed unanimously in both the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate and signed by Youngkin on Gold Start Spouses Day (April 5, 2022), will give local governments the authority to give tax relief on real property owned by the families of Armed Forces members killed in the line of duty.
“By taking care of our Gold Star Families, we honor the legacy of our service men and women, who gave their lives to protect our freedom,” Youngkin said. “This legislation enables local governments to give something back to families who have sacrificed so much on behalf of this country.”
Introduced by Del. Kathy Tran of Springfield, the bill allows for localities to place property that is owned by a surviving spouse of a service member into a separate class for tax purposes.
The spouse must not be remarried and the service member’s death must be verified by the U.S. Department of Defense and confirmed that the death was not the result of criminal conduct.
Since World War I, families of American service members have traditionally hung banners or flags with blue stars on their homes to signify that a member of that family was serving the country in times of hostility. The amount of stars on the banner signify the number of loved ones who are serving.
If a member is killed in action, the replace the blue star with a gold star. According to the U.S. Army website, the United States began observing Gold Star Mother’s Day on the last Sunday in September in 1936.
For more information on Gold Star families, please visit the website for America’s Gold Star Families.