Former Prisoners of War Given More Appreciation for Service Through Tax Breaks
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Former Prisoners of War Given More Appreciation for Service Through Tax Breaks

Date: October 18, 2010
By: Rebecca May
State Capitol Bureau
Links: The proposal - HJR 15

A homestead property tax exemption for totally disabled former prisoners of war will be on the November ballot.
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Wrap: John Clark served the United States military for more than 30 years. 

He endured six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Clark says voter approval of Constitutional Amendment 2 would be a display of appreciation.

Benefits and Appeal Specialist of the Missouri Veterans Administration, Bob Harvey says it's something that should have been done earlier.


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Description: "There were many many of thousands of prisoners of war in WWII and then quite a few in Korea. In Vietnam, there were less than 800 altogether, and then these few conflicts we had since that time a handful each time around. Never any huge numbers."

Although the measure cleared the legislature without a dissenting chamber vote, one opponent has argued the proposal is too restrict because it does not recognize others who have made military sacrifices. 

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Becky May.

Constitutional Amendment 2 on the November ballot would provide property tax breaks for disabled P-O-W's.
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Wrap: The measure cleared the House and the Senate in 2009 without a single dissenting vote.

However, founder of the P-O-W Network, Mary Schantag says she thinks this type of benefit will encourage a higher number of P-O-W impersonators, while Clark says the process to receive benefits is hard to fake.

Actuality:  CLARK1.WAV
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Description: "It's an extensive evaluation and very few who actually claim that status are awarded benefits for it."

Clark says he has been one of the few that the Missouri Veterans Administration has granted these benefits, but many have not.

From Jefferson City I'm Becky May.

Opposition has emerged to a November ballot proposal that would provide a residential property tax exemption for former prisoners of war who are totally disabled.
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Wrap: The Missouri Democratic Representative, Maria Chappelle-Nadal put together this proposal after a former P-O-W, Allen Sabol approached her about exemption on property taxes.

It cleared the legislature without an opposing chamber vote.

But there is opposition. the founder of the P-O-W Network, Mary Schantag says she thinks the proposal is too exclusive.

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Description: "Well again there is a limited number of medal of honor recipients, but if you are going to recognize a prisoner of war a medal of honor recipient would be the same thing. I think we have less than 200 alive right now in the country."

However, a former P-O-W in North Vietnam, John Clark says he thinks this proposal is not just honoring people in the past but affects people who are currently in the war.

Reporting from the state Capitol I'm Becky May.

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