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RI Veterans: Did you know? 25.01.24 (Veteran tax credit by city, Events, Discounts…) – John A. Cianci

by John A. Cianci, contributing writer on veterans issues

Deadlines Fast Approaching for 2024 VETERAN FREE TAX CREDIT worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars in savings for homeowner

Imagine owning a nice house in Rhode Island and paying little or no real estate tax in Rhode island?

Or, being a member of the military or spouse of deceased veteran since 1941 and receive estimated $250 off your annual real estate tax bill?

Time is running out for veterans, spouses of deceased veterans, and Gold Star parents to apply and receive real estate tax credit that could save them an average of $250 off their annual real estate tax.

Last month during veteran outreach I was told by 7 veterans and 3 widows that they were not aware they were eligible for their Rhode Island real estate tax credit.

Simply put, if you’re an honorably discharged veteran and/or a spouse of a deceased veteran, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE for an estimated $250 dollars off your annual real estate tax.

This tax credit is in addition to any other credit can you are receiving (senior, homestead, etc…)


I’m a widow of a veteran and my husband never applied for the real estate tax credit?

You are eligible, go to town or city hall and apply. You will need discharge papers.

What do I do if I don’t have discharge papers?

The fastest way to get copies of discharge papers is to contact your U.S. Senator or U.S Congressperson in RI. Ask for the veteran’s liaison. Explain to their office the urgency to get the discharge paperwork. 

Immediately after receiving, go to the city or town hall to apply for the credit. But, if you miss this year’s deadline, still apply, as it will be good for next year and all future years.

Q: I brought my DD214 to town hall and was told I was not eligible?

Almost every veteran who served since 1947 is eligible. Definition of veteran for credit, is someone who served in the U.S Armed forces and has an honorably discharge. It appears whoever you spoke with was unaware of the passage of a bill making eligible Cold War veterans who served between 1947 and 1991. 

From 1991 to current, since the U.S. has been in a state of war since Operation Desert Shield/Storm. To be eligible, you need not have served in a war zone, however, you do need to have a DD214 showing a time period of active duty from 1947 to 1991 and have received an honorable discharge.

VETTIP:  Local towns and cities require a one-time application for the veteran property time exemption. Moreover, all towns and cities have a deadline date to file for the veteran exemption before the annual tax bills are compiled. For the Town of Tiverton, Jim would have needed to file by March 15 2024, for tax bills issued in July 2024.

The bills passed qualifying you as a Cold War veteran for the veteran exemption are Rhode Island House bill 2021 — S 0982 and Rhode Island Senate bill 2021 — S 0982. Governor Dan McKee signed the bills into law on July 14, 2021, extending veteran tax exemption to veterans who served during the Cold War.

VETTIP:  If you are a veteran or widow, own property (house, condo, land etc.) and have  a copy of DD214 supporting the veteran served on active duty from 1947 to current, more than likely you are eligible for an annual local property tax worth hundreds of dollars. Emphasisthe veteran did not have to serve overseas or in a combat zone to be eligible for the tax credit.

The bill passed in 2021 is worth hundreds to eligible veterans, if not thousands of annual savings on property tax for Cold War veterans eligible (more details on bi-partisan bill in today’s article).

Below, is a list of towns and cities, with the estimated amount of credit the veteran credit will net, deducted from the 2024 annual real estate tax on his or her home:

VETTIP: The Town of Bristol provides $1,000 annual tax credit for 100% disabled veterans whose disabilities are service connected ($900 for 90% VA service connected, $800 for 80% service connected).

VETTIP: If you live in Cranston and are a veteran rated 100% for service-connected injuries, after 5 years veteran tax credit is over $5,000

Here is a list of municipalities and the veteran tax credit  offered :

Veteran Tax Credits by Municipalities*

Town/CityVeteran Exemption 100% Service Connected   Disable/Credit                                         Other
Bristol250.00900.0090% service-connected disabled $900 credit
Bristol250.00800.0080% service-connected disabled $800 credit
  Central Falls90.00
Cranston203.54                                            ……………….  5,192.50 
Cranston $50,000 a year aggregated for five years up to $250,000 of the real property by any disabled veteran
  East Greenwich110.00234.30 
  East Providence168.84205.90 
  Little Compton107.82                       Income Based 
  New Shoreham1086.87 
  North Kingstown213.63249.51 
  North Providence114.05228.10 
  North Smithfield350.00 
    Scituate                          46.10    100% Service Connected Disability certified by VA: 50% off real estate tax first year, 100% off real estate tax second year and thereafter 
  South Kingstown215.00340.00
West Greenwich*50.00150.00Partially Disabled/Service connected pro-rated
  Westerly                                      170.00  200.00
    VETTIP Most municipalities in Rhode Island offer tax relief for soldiers on active duty. Additional all municipalities continue the veteran exemption for the widow or widower. *Amounts based off Department of Revenue Division of Municipal Finance report released November 2018 and updated by Italian American War Veterans of the US Assistant Veteran Service Office, August 2022.

Did you know no two municipalities have the same veteran tax relief program, and the sums range from $46 low credit (Scituate) to highest credit of $1,086 (New Shoreham).

Did you know Scituate has the lowest veteran tax exemption, however, for 100% service connected veterans collecting VA compensation offers the BEST exemption for those veterans; no real estate taxes for a house assessed under $350,000.

Did you know towns local elected officials could increase veteran property exemption by seeking assistance from district State of Rhode Island House of Representative and State Senate.

Did you know most municipalities in Rhode Island offer additional veteran tax credit, if the veteran has VA rated service-connected disabilities?

Did you know the City of Cranston provides one of the BEST veteran tax exemption for a veteran with a 100% VA service-connected disabilities, monetary value of over $5,000 after 5 years for a veteran who owns a house with an assessed value over $250,000.

Veterans should know and support Candidates who support issues impacting Veterans: Topic 1: RI Municipalities Veteran Tax Exemption

Why does the Town of Scituate only offer $46 credit to veterans who served and reside in Scituate, compared to bordering towns who provide from $112 to $250 veteran tax credit?

Why is the City of Cranston and the Town of Scituate provide the best veteran tax credits for veterans who were injured during his or her service?

Do residents of Scituate and Cranston  appreciate veteran residents less than the residents of bordering towns like Johnston and Smithfield?

The answer is quite simple. Elected officials have the ability to initiate resolutions and legislation to send their local veterans a clear message – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE – with a tax credit – that cost residents less than a dollar annually on their taxes.

Several years ago, the elected officials of the City of Cranston took the necessary action to increase Real Estate Property Tax Exemption for disabled veterans. This action was under the leadership of Council President John E. Lanni. A resolution was passed and forwarded to the members of the Rhode Island General assembly to introduce and pass enabling legislation authorizing the City of Cranston to enact an Ordinance which would increase Exemptions from real property taxation for those who are military veterans with a hundred percent military disability rating.

Shortly thereafter, the General Assembly submitted and passed the necessary legislation authorizing the City of Cranston to pass such an ordinance, which the City of Cranston did shortly thereafter.

From a veteran who is 100% service-connected disabled veteran, Cranston and Scituate veteran exemption for 100% rated veterans is a quality-of-life impact. If I had such avtax exemption while as a single parent, I would not have had to work two additional jobs.

The impact of Cranston’s exemption, more than likely, allows a 100% disabled combat veteran the opportunity to own and afford purchasing a home for his or her family, which without the exemption, he might not have been qualified.

KUDOs to the Town of Bristol for offering additional tax exemption for the group of veterans who are 80 or 90% VA service connected. Clearly, the leaders of the Town of Bristol understand the VA current rating system and the struggles of veterans receiving proper rating; veterans wait an average of 3 years for his or her initial rating to be reconsidered.

KUDOs to the City of Cranston, town and Scituate, and town of Bristol, three of Rhode Island’s municipalities who do more than say words thanking their veterans for their service.

Rep. Vella-Wilkinson’s bill would create a position of military spouse liaison for outreach and advocacy

VETTIP: Rep. Vella-Wilkinson is a Navy veteran and every year she leads the effort to ensure our state leaders understand the needs of her veteran brothers and sisters.

Rep. Camille F.J. Vella-Wilkinson (D-Dist. 21, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would create the position of military spouse liaison in the Office of Veterans Services to conduct outreach and advocate on behalf of military spouses in the state.

Under the legislation (2024-H 7184), the liaison would provide assistance and information to military spouses seeking professional licenses and credentials or other employment in the state, in addition to coordinating research on issues facing military spouses and their families.

“While going through my military constituents’ notes, I realized I had nearly as many family members reach out to me for assistance as veterans themselves,” said Representative Vella-Wilkinson. “I believe it is critical for military families to have a trained, dedicated professional to respond to their questions and needs. Furthermore, the outreach this person provides will assist in disseminating information to the veterans. It’s a win-win proposition.”

The issue has become a priority for the Department of Defense, according to Melissa J. Willette, the New England Region Liaison for the department’s State Liaison Office, which represents the department and establishes relationships with state leaders across the country.

“When military families are supported in their communities through improved education, healthcare and employment opportunities, it reduces stress and distractions for service members, allowing them to focus more effectively on their mission,” said Willette. “Livable communities with robust support systems for military families can be a key factor in the decision of service members to continue their military career. Additionally, such communities are attractive to potential recruits who consider the quality of life for their families when deciding to join the military.”

The bill, which is co-sponsored by Representatives José F. Batista (D-Dist. 12, Providence), Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6 Providence, North Providence), Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence, Pawtucket), Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick), Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln), David Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence) and Evan Patrick Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick, East Greenwich), has been referred to the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  



Monday, February 19 – FREE LUNCHEON for all veterans and their guest at VFW, 134 Shove Street, Tiverton RI from 1130 am to 1300pm. The luncheon will be traditional Portuguese food cooked by guest combat veteran chefs, Jay Caetano and Mike Bozzi.

Monday February 5 – Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House, ROMA, 900am to 1100am, 311 Atwells Ave, Providence. Open to all veterans and their guest. FREE REFRESHMENTS, to include complementary Italian Toast by ROMA.


Travel/Entertainment for Veterans

Free Golf, Goddard Park Golf Course Fee Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island resident Veterans who have a 100% permanent and total, service-connected disability rating from the VA are exempt from paying any fees to play golf at the Goddard Park Golf Course. For more information year-round at Division Headquarters at 401-667-6200.

Free Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Licenses for 100% Disabled Veterans: A Veteran who has a 100% disability rating from the VA is eligible for free Rhode Island hunting and fishing licenses. No cost licenses are available if you are: over 65 AND a Rhode Island resident – a veteran with 100% disability status from the Department of Veterans Affairs – a person with 100% total disability status from the Social Security Administration

To apply in person at DEM, bring a photo ID and an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (directions)

To apply by mail, complete an application and mail the application and a copy of your photo ID and the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Allow two weeks for processing.

The address to obtain your license in person or by mail is:
DEM Licensing Office
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-3576

To purchase online, you will be required to certify that you have an ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). You will also be required to enter the date the decision expires. The Department will audit compliance with the certification and may, at any time, request a copy of the current DOCUMENT OF THE FINAL DECISION(S). Failure to submit the documentation by the date requested may result in the suspension of your fishing and hunting license. Also, Rhode Island General Law 11-18-1 prohibits giving false documents to an agent, employee, or public official. The penalty is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to one year.

Rhode Island Hunting and Fishing Benefits for Service Members and Veterans: Rhode Island offers several hunting and fishing benefits to Service members and Veterans. A short description of each is listed below. Applicants are required to show documentation proving eligibility when they apply:

Active-Duty Service members – Military ID – or, Veterans – DD214 – or, Disabled Veterans – VA Disability Certification Letter ( Contact VA office)

Applicants can apply online at Rhode Island Outdoors, in person at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Boating Registration and Licenses in Providence (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.), at an Authorized In-Person Sales Agent, or they can mail applications to:

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Room 360
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: 401-222-3576

Learn more about FREE Rhode Island Hunting , Fishing, State Parks, and Golf  Benefits for Service Members and Veterans

Free Rhode Island State Park Passes for 100% Disabled Veterans: Rhode Island offers the State Park Disability Pass for use at any state-owned recreational facility to disabled Veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA.

The State Park Disability Pass authorizes free admission and parking but does not exempt the following: Licensing fees – Camping fees – Picnic table fees – Specialized facility use fees – Use of equestrian areas – Performing art centers – Game fields fees – Mule shed fees.

If the disabled Veteran cannot drive, the vehicle transporting the Veteran will not be charged.


Resources & ongoing groups 

Below are all the groups the Providence Vet Center is currently offering.  As this list changes, I will provide updates. Please send me any questions that you may have, thank you for your time! 

***All Vet Center Groups require that the Veteran be enrolled with the Vet Center prior to attending. To check eligibility or for questions, please contact the Vet Center at (401) 739-0167 or reach out to our Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (VOPS) via email at [email protected]*** 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Group (PTSD) – 2nd  and 4th Tuesday of the month from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (Group is only active September through May) 

Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and Vietnam Veterans PTSD Group – 2nd and 4th  Wednesday of the month from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. 

Vietnam Veteran PTSD Group – 1st and 3rd  Monday of the month from 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Art Expression Group – Every Thursday from 9:00 – 12:00 p.m. 

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND) Group – Every Wednesday from 11:00 – 12:00 p.m. 

Stress Management – Every Thursday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

Low Impact Walking Group – Every Tuesday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

Guitar 4 Veterans – Every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. 

Monday Mindfulness Group – Every Monday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Yoga Group – Every Friday from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 

Moral Injury Group – Every Friday from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. 

Modern Warrior Support Group – 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 2:30 – 4:00 pm. 

If you are attending the group for the first time, double check with the Vet Center in case of last minute schedule changes.


Discount Offers


No Problem Plumbing and Heating LLC:  15% military discount, ask for Ron Gaynor, (401) 568-6666. Veterans must provide proof of eligibility with a VA Card, VA ID Card, or RI State license with veteran identification. 


Applebee’s – Military Discount. With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2022. 

Denny’s – Hartford Ave, Johnston offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain. Last verified 07/31/2022. 

Outback Steakhouse – 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021 

99 Restaurant & Pub – The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID 


Advance Auto Parts – 10% for Active Duty, Veterans, and families. Last verified 07/28/2021 

Bass Pro Shops – Offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source). 

BJs Wholesale – Reduced membership fee. BJ’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021 

Lowes – Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to activate your 10% discount – “Our way of saying Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items. Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner,, our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe. 

GameStop – is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through 

Home Depot – Offers a 10% off military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer. 

Kohls – 15% discount offers for active military, veterans, retirees, and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type. 

Jiffy Lube – HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY! – We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 10% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at 3 select locations: Tioque Ave, Coventry RI – Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI – Park Ave, Cranston RI 

Michaels – offers a 15% off military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, veterans, and family members. How to get: 1. Create an account. Log in to Michaels Rewards. 2. Get verified. Provide your military information to get verified, instantly. 3. Go shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout. 

O’Reilly Auto Parts – 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21. 


If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward to: [email protected]:  the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered. 

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, [email protected], ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838) 


To read all columns in this series go to:  

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

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