In an effort to financially assist a greater number of New Jersey veterans, Assembly Democrats have sponsored a bill that would allow the existing $250 property tax deduction to be granted to all honorably discharged veterans, rather than just those with active wartime service or involvement in certain peacekeeping operations.
Currently, there is a resolution (ACR-253) proposing an amendment to the state constitution that would permit the expanded eligibility. If that amendment passes the Legislature and receives voter approval, this bill (A-1268) would codify that amendment in order to enact the expansion.
Upon passing the Appropriations Committee Monday, Assembly sponsors Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex), Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington) and Annette Quijano (D-Union) released the following joint statement on the bill:
“Soldiers have little say in when or where they will be deployed. When an individual signs up to serve in the military, they understand and accept that their lives may be placed at risk during their service. We must recognize and respect the bravery in their decision, regardless of whether that recruit went on to fight in a war or if they served during a time of peace.
“Each and every person in the United States Armed Forces has an important role to play in the defense of our country. Refusing benefits to certain veterans when those same benefits are given to other veterans disregards that fact.
“You can ask many current and former military members, and they will say the same thing – that a veteran is a veteran no matter what. It’s time our state recognizes that and gives the existing property tax deduction to all honorably discharged veterans throughout New Jersey.”
The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.