NEW JERSEY -- During last week's General Election, New Jersey voters approved the ballot question to extend the existing $250 property tax deduction to all honorably discharged veterans, rather than just those with active wartime service or involvement in certain peacekeeping operations.

Previously, only New Jersey veterans who served in one of 14 theaters of war or armed conflict, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort, were eligible for the $250 deduction

Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington), who wrote the new law placing the ballot question before voters, said that "with the ballot question approved, we recognize as a state that giving the existing property tax deduction to all honorably discharged veterans throughout New Jersey is the right thing to do.” 

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“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. The voter’s approval of the ballot question recognizes and respects 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," added Conaway, who served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

The state also provides a total property tax exemption for those veterans who became 100 percent disabled as a result of a wound or injury during their service. Previously that also was limited to wounds and injuries suffered in war zones.

More than 53,000 peacetime veterans living in New Jersey will now become eligible for both forms of tax relief under the "a vet is a vet" change. 

“Each and every person in the United States Armed Forces has an important role to play in the defense of our country. 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," Conaway said. 

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