New Legislation Would Help Families Of Fallen With Bills

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) – Their spouses died protecting North Texas communities and they are the ones left living with the pain.

But a newly proposed bill could help husbands and wives of fallen police officers and other first responders cope with their loss.

State Representative Pat Fallon, (R-Little Elm), filed HB 2524 on Tuesday. It would provide a property tax exemption to spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Jo-Ann Jackson’s husband, Dallas police officer Brian Jackson, was shot and killed back in 2005 after responding to a domestic violence call.

“It wasn’t fair. He didn’t deserve that,” said Jackson. “He was just trying to save somebody. He was just trying to help.”

All those years later, the void of his absence remains as painful and vivid as the day Brian Jackson was taken.

“This is not the life that we had planned,” said Jackson. “This is not the life I thought I’d be living.”

While nothing will bring Brian Jackson back or the other first responders killed while serving, HB 2524 is aimed at making moving forward a little easier.

“A lot of times you feel lost and forgotten. It’s like nobody cares. Once it’s done and over with, it’s like everybody is gone,” said Jackson. “Even if it just takes just a little bit away from what I have to pay, it’ll make my life a lot easier and it’ll take away a lot of stress.”

It would first need approval by legislator then by voters.

Spouses who remarry would not be eligible, otherwise spouses would be granted the exemption regardless of the day of death.

Spouses are able to move and carry the exemption, but it would always be based off of the value of their original home.

“The fact that there is someone in the legislature who wants to help us, who wants to do something for us…and make things better for us is a really big deal,” said Jackson.

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