Recently, we got wind that VFW Post 696 in Owensboro, Kentucky may have to relocate because their city tax rates went up 300%. They are not the first one having to do so in the last couple of years either. In November of 2018, an Oklahoma VFW post had to sell it’s location after experiencing a robbery in conjunction with not being able to afford their location.
These are just two of a few accounts over the last few years. VFW membership rates are declining as older generations who upkept them are passing way and younger generations are not as active with them yet. This is inevitably causing the VFWs to lose money and not be able to afford the city property taxes the buildings are on.
Veterans of Foreign War Posts are considered non-profit at the federal level, but a majority of them typically still have to pay local city and state taxes, depending on where the post is physically located. And of course, as cost of living goes up, so does property taxes, which means so does the amount the VFW posts have to pay out.
In the case of 696, however, going from $8k to $27k seems pretty steep. They are located right on primary riverfront property for the area. Research also showed the city wants to put some sort of theme park or attraction there, replacing the post.
Most VFW Posts serve more than just their veteran community. They also reach out to local police officers, firefighters and attempt to bring the community together. They typically also hold fundraisers in support of various charities and efforts to honor past, present and future servicemembers.
So, how can you help? Well, for Post 696 specifically, you can help by signing this petition, here. For others- perhaps stop in, have a beer and see how you can become a member, especially if you aren’t one already. We know we will be looking into our VFWs locally to see how things are going.
We want to know what you think about your local VFW, so drop a comment!