TRENTON – Legislation to ask voters in November to increase the veterans’ property tax deduction from the current $250 to $500 by 2016 was released Monday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (ACR-168) proposes a constitutional amendment that would increase the deduction to $300 for 2012, $350 for 2013, $400 for 2014, $450 for 2015 and $500 for 2016 and each year thereafter.
“Our veterans have sacrificed a lot to protect our freedoms, so the least we can do is ensure their property tax relief keeps pace with the changing times,” said Asm. John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), a sponsor of the bill. “We haven’t approved increasing this benefit since 1999, and we need to do everything we can to help our veterans and their families – many of whom are suffering through difficult economic circumstances – make ends meet and keep their homes. It’s the right thing to do and I’m confident New Jersey voters will agree.”
Under the state program, $250 may be deducted each year from the property taxes of qualified war veterans or their unmarried surviving spouses. To qualify, a veteran must be an honorably discharged U.S. Armed Forces war veteran or the unmarried surviving spouse of a serviceperson who served in time of war and died while on active duty.
“This is a vital benefit to many of our veterans and our families, but we need to make certain it remains relevant,” Wisniewski said. “This reasonable incremental increase will go a long way toward helping those who have bravely served our nation.”
The bill was released 5-0 by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
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