STATE BENEFITS

Veterans' Tax Breaks

Veterans' Property Tax Exemption

Any veteran who served a minimum of 90 days consecutive active duty (other than for training), was honorably discharged, and is a legal resident of New Mexico qualifies for a $4,000 reduction in the taxable value of their real property for county taxation purposes. This benefit is also available to non-remarried surviving spouses of a veteran who would have otherwise qualified for this benefit.

In lieu of the property tax exemption, this benefit can instead be used to obtain a 1/3 discount off a vehicle registration fee when registering a vehicle in New Mexico. Download: Application Download: Affidavit of Loss

Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption
Any veteran who has been rated at 100 percent service-connected disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and is a legal resident of New Mexico, qualifies for a complete property tax waiver on their primary residence.
Download: Application

Exemption from Excise Taxes on Vehicle Purchases
Any veteran who has suffered the loss, or complete loss of use of one or more limbs due to their service in the military shall be exempted from excise taxes when purchasing a new vehicle.
Download: Application

Veterans’ Service Organization Property Tax Exemption
Any U.S. Congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organization is exempt from paying property tax on the property of its facility. (Veterans’ Service Organization Property Tax Exemption Form)

Veterans' Educational Benefits

Vietnam Veteran Scholarship
Veterans who have been residents of New Mexico for a minimum of 10 years, served in Vietnam, and were issued the Vietnam Campaign or Service Medal are eligible. The Vietnam Veteran Scholarship will pay full tuition and books at any state funded post-secondary school.
Download: Application

Wartime Veteran Scholarship Fund

Can be used by any veteran who has served in combat since 1990 and who has exhausted all available federal G.I. Education Benefits options. An eligible combat veteran who has served since 1990 will thus no longer have to worry about utilizing their GI Education Benefit bill under a deadline which may not fit their timeframe.

Download: Application

In-State Tuition for Veterans
Veterans, their spouses and their children no longer have to wait to establish “in-state” residency status when applying for college. Those who wish to use their G.I. Education Benefit Bill can now immediately take advantage of less-expensive “resident” in-state tuition rates at any state funded college, university, vocational school or vocational training program.

World War II and Korean Veterans’ High School Diploma
Any veteran who left a New Mexico high school before graduating to serve in World War II or the Korean War will be awarded a valid high school diploma issued from the high school they were attending.More information.
Download: Application

Children of Deceased Veterans
Children between the ages of 16-26 whose veteran parent was killed in action or died as a result of their wounds incurred in battle, qualify for a full tuition waiver at any state funded post-secondary school. A $150 stipend, per semester, will be issued to help with books or fees.
Download: Application

Military Children School Enrollment Priority
Priority enrollment status is automatically assigned to incoming students or the New Mexico schools system whose active-duty, National Guard or Reservist parent is transferred to a New Mexico military facility.

Apprenticeship Training
The state offers apprenticeship and theoretical training programs for qualified veterans, who can receive their G.I. Bill benefits while working full-time and earning a salary.  Qualified veterans sign a contract establishing the length and scope of the training.  All programs must meet apprenticeship standards set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Apprenticeship programs typically last between two to five years. Businesses and programs participating in a veteran’s apprenticeship program must require a participating veteran to spend a minimum 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, along with a minimum 144 hours per year of related instruction.

Typical apprenticeship opportunities are offered for: Carpenters, ironworkers, sheet-metal workers, plumbers, construction and architectural design. More info (505) 383-2431

On-The-Job Training (OJT)
The state offers On-the-Job-Training (OJT) programs which typically last between six months to two years.  Participating veterans work under a skilled worker’s supervision and draw monthly benefits from the U.S. Veterans’ Administration. Upon completion, the veteran is awarded a certificate by the employer indicating the successful completion of that training program.

Some of the programs offered under OJT program are: Heating and air conditioning repair, law enforcement, security and corrections officer training, warehouse operations, shipping and receiving clerks, landscaping, welding, commercial painting, auto mechanics and the beverage & food industry. More info (505) 383-2431

Special Recognition Benefits

National Guard and Reserves Defined as Veterans
According to the state of New Mexico, veteran status is given to anyone honorably discharged after serving six consecutive years as a member of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard or Air National Guard. Veteran status is also given to commissioned officers from the Public Health Service or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who served on active duty in defense of the United States.

Veterans’ License Plates
Any honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is eligible for the following New Mexico veterans’ license plates provided they can show proof of service or achievement and eligibility.

The following two plates are available for a one-time $17 fee. Recipients are then responsible for any annual vehicle license fee which may apply:

The following five special-recognition plates are available free of charge for any qualified veteran who can provide proof of achievement:

Download: Application

Gold Star Family License Plate
The Gold Star Family License Plate is available for any family which has had a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, parent or step-parent killed in combat action. There is a four-plate limit per family. The first plate is free and all fees will be waived over the lifetime of the recipient. The remaining three plates are also free, but these recipients are responsible for an annual $17 plate registration fee. Download: Application

Patriot License Plate
The Patriot License Plate can be purchased by any licensed New Mexico driver who wants to recognize the contribution and sacrifice of the men and women who are serving or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The fee is $27. Download: Application

Special MacArthur Service Medal
The Special MacArthur Service Medal is issued members of the 200th/51th Coast Artillery Units who were residents of New Mexico at their original time of entry into the U.S. Military and served under General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippine Islands during World War II. The medal is also available to surviving family members of the 200th/515th units

New Mexico Personnel Office Veterans Hiring Preference
All veterans honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or anyone currently serving in the National Guard shall have five (5) points added to their final passing numerical scores on screening examinations performed by the NM State Personnel Office. Veterans honorably discharged with a service-connected disability will have ten (10) points added to their final passing numerical score.

Business Tax Credit for Hiring Recently-Returned Veterans
Any business in the state of New Mexico can qualify for up to a $1,000 business tax credit for each hire of a recently-returned veteran. Please contact the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department for additional information at (505) 827-0700 or http://www.tax.newmexico.gov

5% Procurement Advantage for Veteran-Owned Businesses or Contractors
The state of New Mexico shall set aside an additional 5% hiring preference for
veteran-owned businesses or contractors over the existing 5% preference currently established for locally-owned businesses during the bidding process for state contracts and jobs.

Military Discharge Papers Protection
Military discharge papers filed with County Clerks in the State of New Mexico shall be available only to the veteran who filed them, the veteran’s next of kin, or a person holding the veteran’s general power of attorney. More info....

Deceased Military Person’s Disposition Arrangements
A person designated as the immediate contact on the Department of Defense (DoD) Emergency Data Form of an active-duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces can determine the means of disposition of that deceased Armed Forces member. The designee is authorized to make burial, funeral and disposition arrangements.

Veterans’ Free and Reduced-Fee Recreational Benefits


Veterans’ Day Recreation and Museum Privileges
Every Veterans’ Day holiday, any New Mexico resident who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or is currently on active-duty—along with their spouse and children--is entitled to free use of any New Mexico State Park. Admission fees will be also be waived for campsites, the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, and the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

Day-Pass and Three Free Camping Nights for Disabled Veterans
Any veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled may obtain an annual free day-use pass and three free nights of camping for personal use only. Qualified veterans can obtain these passes by showing proper identification and proof of disability at any NMDVS field office or download it here. Complete and send the application according to the instructions and attach a copy of your NM drivers license and a copy of the VA award letter showing a rating of 50% or higher.
Download: Application

Free State Monuments and Museums Pass for Disabled Veterans
Any veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled may obtain a free State Monument and Museum pass for personal use only. Qualified veterans can obtain this pass by showing proper identification and proof of disability at any DVS field office or download it here.
Download: Application

Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans
Any veteran rated 100% service-connected disabled is eligible for a free lifetime New Mexico small-game hunting and fishing license.
Download: Application, Deer Hunting License

NM Dept of Game & Fish

Reduced-Fee Hunting & Fishing License for Disabled Veterans
New Mexico’s 26,000 service-connected disabled veterans may apply for a reduced fee $10 small-game & fishing license--no matter what percentage their disability. For more information, visit http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/apps_permit/index.htm

Hunting Fee Discount for Non-Resident Disabled Veterans Undergoing Rehabilitation
Hunting licenses for deer, antelope, elk, javelina and turkey may be sold to non-resident disabled U.S. military members or veterans at resident license-fee rates if the applicant is undergoing a rehabilitation program utilizing hunting activities supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) or an authorized nonprofit organization.

Temporary Hunting and Fishing License for Active-Duty Military Personnel

Any active duty military personnel, National Guard or Reserve member who is a legally domiciled resident of New Mexico can apply for a temporary active duty fishing or small game hunting license. Applicants must show proof of residency and not claim residency elsewhere. Applicants may also apply if they are on active duty outside the state but are currently on leave here in New Mexico for not more than 30 days.

 

Benefits Division
Alan Martinez, Director
(505) 827-6374
Rebecca Tapia, Admin. Assistant
(505) 827-6383