Benefits in my Backyard: Utah

Utahans eat twice the amount of green Jell-O as the rest of the country.

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:08 pm

Dreamstime

The Beehive State is home to almost 150,000 veterans. It’s also home to the very first KFC and the first department store in the country opened in Salt Lake City in 1868. The Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution or ZCMI finally shut down in 1999 when the Mormon Church sold the store to Macy’s. The average amount of snowfall in the mountains around Salt Lake City is 500 inches each year. For odd state laws, a husband is responsible for every criminal act committed by his wife while she is in his presence. In Logan, women aren’t allowed to swear. And most importantly, in Provo you’ll get a $50 fine if you’re caught throwing snowballs.

Taxes

Utah will tax military retirement pay. 

  • Disabled Veteran Property Tax Abatement. This tax abatement is available for disabled veterans, their un-remarried spouse or minor orphans. The veteran’s disability rating must be at least 10 percent.  The percentage cap is subject to change, it’s currently up to $260,370 of taxable value of a residence. Multiply your percentage of disability by the cap. This amount is then subtracted from the taxable value of the property, taxes are paid on the remaining amount. You must submit a copy of your VA Summary of Benefits and a complete application to your local county assessor. Veterans only have to file for this abatement one time, after that it will automatically renew each year.
  • Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption. Military members who spend at least 200 days per year on active duty. The amount of the exemption is equal to the total taxable value of the claimant’s real property. This may be claimed up to a year following the year the service was complete. This may not be claimed by the military person’ spouse.

Education

  • In-state Tuition. Active duty and veterans who have been released from active service within 12 months of attending school will receive the in-state tuition rate. Apply through the school’s admissions office.
  • Purple Heart Tuition Waiver. Recipients are eligible for a tuition waiver at all public institution of higher learning in this state. You must submit proof of receiving a Purple Heart to the State Institution they are attending.
  • Scott Lundell Military Survivors Tuition Waiver is for surviving dependents of service members killed in action on or after 9/11/2001. 
  • Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship is for dependent children.
  • Veterans Tuition Gap Program. This enables qualifying veterans to receive tuition assistance for the last school year. This is for tuition only and does not include housing or books. 
  • Veterans Support Center at the University of Utah

Career

  • On request, when applying for a Utah state job, veterans’ preference points may be applied to veterans with an honorable discharge. Points are available for eligible spouse, widow or widower of the qualified veteran. The percentage equals that of the veteran.
    • 10 percent of the total possible score given to veterans with a service-connected disability
    • 5 percent of the total possible score given to eligible veterans
  • Utah Department of Workforce Services. This is for both job seekers and potential employers.  Access job postings or learn about upcoming hiring events in your area.  If you self-identify as a veteran in your online profile, organizations looking to hire veterans can connect with you.
  • Utah Patriot Partnership. This is a veteran friendly employer program.

Family

Entertainment

  • Fishing/Hunting licenses. There are several types of discounts for veterans with disabilities.
  • Admission to State Parks. Veterans with an honorable discharge and at least a service-related disability rating of 50 percent or more free pass to state parks. The Honor Pass is valid for day use for the veteran and up to 7 guests.
  • Veterans on Course. Each event consists of an hour of lessons from PGA Professionals, a nine-hole shotgun scramble tournament and a social gathering with hors-d’oeuvres and a guest speaker.

Housing

  • Veterans Homes. There are four State Veterans Homes in Utah. They are located in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Payson and Ivins. VA pays for almost half the cost of care for the residents. In some instances of a service connected disability, 100 percent of the cost of care is paid.  Utah’s Veterans Homes are open to all veterans and eligible dependents.
  • Veteran First Time Home Buyer Program.  A gift of $2,500 is available for veterans who are eligible for a VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility and have separated within the last five years. This is a pilot program ending on June 20, 2019 or upon depletion of funds.

Cemetery and Burial

  • Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park. There are no fees for veterans’ burial. There is a fee of $762.00 for the burial of an eligible veterans’ spouse or dependent child.
  • Eligibility Determination Form. Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources