Bill is contingent on voters approving constitutional amendment to make veterans who did not serve in wartime or emergency eligible for these benefits
(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Timothy Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic) has introduced legislation that would expand eligibility for the veteran’s property tax deduction and the veteran’s property tax exemption to New Jersey veterans who did not serve in time of war or during an emergency.
“The unemployment rate among New Jersey’s veterans does not differentiate between those veterans who served during a time of war and those who did not. Sometimes people fall on hard times and these veterans are no exception,” said Eustace. “They signed up knowing they could be pulled away from their families at any moment to serve. Serving during peacetime should not be reason to deny these veterans the same assistance given to their counterparts. It is not cheap to live and raise a family in New Jersey. This type of assistance can go a long way to help our military families.”
The bill (A-4084) would broaden the eligibility for the veterans’ property tax deduction and the veterans’ property tax exemption by eliminating the requirement that a veteran serve during specific wars or other periods of emergency, and, in certain instances, that a veteran serve in a war zone.
The bill is contingent on the approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow the extension of these benefits to these veterans. There is a resolution currently pending in the Legislature proposing that the constitutional amendment be put before the voters in the next general election.
By broadening the eligibility for these benefits, honorably discharged military veterans who did not serve during time of war or other emergency would be eligible for the $250 property tax deduction and the property tax deduction granted by law to veterans with a service-connected disability.
Instead of service during specific dates or in specific locations, the bill requires a veteran to serve for at least 90 days, exclusive of certain types of initial training, in order to be eligible for any of the primary veterans’ benefits. Alternatively, the bill requires a veteran of a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces (including the National Guard) to serve the entire period to which called to federal active service, exclusive of training, in order to be eligible for the primary veterans’ benefits. A veteran who is discharged as the result of a service-connected disability will be eligible even if the veteran has not completed the 90 days’ service or the period to which called to federal active service.