My daughter, her husband and two kids have lived with my husband and me since her husband retired from the Air Force in late April. Last week their belongings arrived from Japan, filling our two-car garage. We are excited to have them living close now, after 6 years of living so far away. We are doubly blessed now that her husband has found employment 20 minutes from our home. Soon, they will purchase and move into their first home. In May of 2014, Governor Branstad signed the Home Base Iowa bill, making this all possible.
The Home Base Iowa bill was designed to support veterans already living in Iowa and to provide financial and employment incentives to attract those leaving the military. My daughter and her family are the recipients of some of these benefits.
My son-in-law received preferential treatment as he began his job search. His current employer was not actively seeking new employees when he willingly interviewed and hired him. His employer said he always tries to find a place for any vet wanting to stay in the state.
The Military Homeownership Assistance Program provides $5000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. At tax time, the assessed value of their home will be reduced for property tax purposes, by $1850, reducing their tax obligation.
When he is ready to retire, his retirement benefits will be exempt from state income taxes.
My daughter and family are excited about this new phase of life and look forward to moving into their new home. The VA Loan process is now in the third month and moves agonizingly slow, but the savings will be well worth wait.