SECTION 1. Clause Twenty-second of section 5 of chapter 59 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first 2 paragraphs and inserting in place thereof the following 2 paragraphs:-
Twenty-second, Real estate of the following classes of persons who are legal residents of the commonwealth and who are veterans, as defined in clause Forty-third of section 7 of chapter 4, and whose last discharge or release from the armed forces was under other than dishonorable conditions and who were domiciled in Massachusetts for at least 6 months prior to entering such service, or who have resided in the commonwealth for 5 consecutive years next prior to date of filing for exemptions under this clause, hereinafter referred to in this clause as soldiers and sailors, provided such real estate is occupied in whole or in part as his domicile by such person, and provided, further that if the spouse of the soldier or sailor is also a soldier or sailor each shall receive the amount of exemption provided in this clause to the same extent as if unmarried, to the amount of $2000 of assessed taxable valuation or the sum of $400, or the amount of money which corresponds with the percentage of the soldier or sailor’s disability as provided in paragraph (a), whichever would result in an abatement of the greater amount of actual taxes due. No real estate shall be so exempt which the assessors shall adjudge has been conveyed to a soldier or sailor or to the spouse, surviving spouse, father or mother of a soldier or sailor to evade taxation.
(a) Soldiers and sailors who, as a result of disabilities contracted while in the line of duty, have a disability rating of 10 per cent or more as determined by the Veterans Administration or by any branch of the armed forces. The department of revenue shall establish an incremental exemption scale, which shall provide no less than $400 for a disability rating of 10 per cent and no more than $1,000 for a disability rating of 100 per cent, with increments of disability increasing by no greater than 10 per cent for each corresponding exemption amount. After the assessors have allowed an exemption under this clause, no further evidence of the existence of the facts required by this clause shall be required in any subsequent year in the city or town in which the exemption has been allowed, unless the disability rating determined by the Veterans Administration or any branch of the armed forces is reduced to less than 10 per cent; provided, however, that the assessors may refuse to allow an exemption in any subsequent year if they become aware that the soldier or sailor did not satisfy all of the requisites of this clause at the time the exemption was first granted.
SECTION 2. The department of revenue, in collaboration with the commissioner of veterans’ affairs shall issue the incremental exemption scale required by paragraph (a) of clause Twenty-second of section 5 of chapter 59 and any rules or regulations necessary to implement such scale on or before January 1, 2020.
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