Desoto County News

Robbins recognized for getting tax exemption for elderly veterans

Photo: World War II veteran K.T. Robbins listens as he is recognized for helping inspire a new law that provides an ad valorem tax exemption for veterans age 90 and older. (Bob Bakken/ 

K.T. Robbins of Olive Branch has done a lot and seen a lot as he has entered his second century on the earth. Most recently, the 102-year-old World War II veteran had an idea he presented to Mayor Ken Adams to allow for a property tax exemption for veterans who had reached a specific age. Adams said that was something that had to be done at the state level, not locally, and directed Robbins toward state Rep. Kimberly Remak (R-Olive Branch) and state Sen. Dr. David Parker (R-Olive Branch). 

It was as a result of that conversation HB 1378 came about, a bill that passed both houses of the Legislature and was signed in April by Gov. Tate Reeves.  

Under the bill, an honorably discharged American veteran in Mississippi aged 90 and above will be allowed an exemption from all ad valorem taxes on the assessed value of the homestead property.

Robbins was recognized for his service and influence in the passage of HB 1378 during Tuesday night’s Olive Branch Board of Aldermen meeting.  

Remak says the bill will go into effect on July 1. 

“This would not have come if Mr. K.T. Robbins had not talked with me and the mayor,” Remak said. 

State Sen. Dr. David Parker speaks of the new law during the Olive Branch aldermen meeting.
(Bob Bakken/

Parker said Robbins was to come to both the Senate floor and the House floor during the legislature session to be formally recognized but had to stay home while his family dealt with COVID-19. 

For that reason, Parker presented Robbins with the resolution that he would have received at the state Capitol. Both Houses passed resolutions (HR 104 and SR 95) honoring Robbins for his service. 

Robbins has had quite a life of service. Among those who landed on Utah Beach three days after D-Day in 1944, Robbins volunteered for the Army in 1939 and was assigned to a bakery division under Gen. George Patton in France, Iceland, England and Germany. 

It was while in France he met a young French girl and fell in love. But as Robbins was reassigned, the two separated and were not able to stay connected after their brief time together.  

That changed five years ago on the 75th anniversary of D-Day when the group Forever Young Veterans helped Robbins return to Normandy and with the aid of a French television reporter was able to find the girl and reunite the pair

Robbins came to Olive Branch, married his wife of 70 years Lillian before she passed away and owned Robbins Hardware Store. He also took business classes at Ole Miss without a high school diploma, which DeSoto County Schools provided him in 2017.  Robbins today remains at the home he and his wife Lillian built in Olive Branch and will celebrate his 103rd birthday on July 4. 

“My dad was 51 when I was born,” Parker said. “He served in World War II and I lost him many, many years ago. It’s great to honor another World War II veteran.” 

State Rep. Kimberly Remak, K.T. Robbins, and state Sen. Dr. David Parker. (Bob Bakken/

In other action at the Olive Branch Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday night, ahead of beginning to consider next year’s budget, local nonprofits are appearing to report and ask for financial support. Tuesday, representatives of Ella Bebe Angels, Elements of Life, and the Arc Northwest Mississippi appeared before the board.  

City employees Erick Crowne, Chris Osborne, Scott Trapolino and Andrew Humphreys were recognized with the monthly Mayor’s Award. 

A lengthy discussion was held about a request to approve a plat to rezone an area labeled as Basinger Subdivision from Agricultural-Residential to Single Family Residential District. Residents in the area, on the north side of College Road and east of Craft Road N., opposed the request with traffic congestion being among the concerns. 

A motion to deny the request failed on a 4-3 vote but another motion to approve the request also failed on a vote of 4-3 in favor. Five votes in favor under what was called a supermajority was required for passage.