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(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano and Jack Conners sponsored to help veterans by excluding combat zone pay from New Jersey’s income tax was released 5-0 Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-3533) excludes military pay for service in a combat zone or for hospitalization as the result of injury while serving in a combat zone from taxable gross income under the New Jersey income tax.
“We can never repay our veterans for the sacrifices they’ve made defending our freedoms, but we can take important steps like this to show our gratitude for their courage,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Exempting pay bravely earned in a combat zone from the income tax shows our veterans that we respect and honor their courage and hard work. Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.”
“Salary earned in a combat zone is, to say the least, hard-earned pay,” said Conners (D-Burlington/Camden). “Exempting it from the income tax is the proper step that shows our veterans we appreciate their bravery and dedication to protecting our liberties. It will provide them a boost financially and make clear that their courage is valued.”
The bill uses federal definitions of combat zone pay to exclude from New Jersey taxation the same pay that is excluded from federal income taxation.
Under federal law, enlisted members and warrant officers may exclude from taxable income all pay received for any month during any part of which they served in a combat zone or were hospitalized as a result of wounds, disease or injury incurred while serving in a combat zone.
A combat zone is any area the President of the United States designates by Executive Order as an area in which the U.S. Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. An area usually becomes a combat zone and ceases to be a combat zone on the dates the President designates by Executive Order.
The bill was released by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee chaired by Conners.