On the November 3 ballot, New Jersey residents are asked three public questions, including a vote on whether veterans who did not serve in time of war should be given a $250 property tax deduction.
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey offers an objective perspective of this question, including reasons for voting yes and no.
Question on the Ballot:
Do you approve amending the Constitution to give a $250 property tax deduction to veterans who did not serve in time of war? Do you also approve amending the Constitution to give a 100 percent property tax exemption to certain totally disabled veterans who did not serve in time of war?
The widow or widower of these veterans also would receive this $250 deduction or 100 percent exemption after the veteran’s death.
Interpretive Statement on the Ballot:
This amendment would give a $250 property tax deduction to veterans who did not serve in time of war. The widow or widower of a veteran who did not serve in time of war would receive this deduction after the veteran’s death.
The amendment also extends the 100 percent property tax exemption for disabled veterans to veterans who became disabled during peacetime military service. Persons who became disabled during peacetime military service and reside in a continuing care retirement community would not receive the 100 percent exemption for disabled veterans.
Currently, these property tax deductions and exemptions are only given to veterans who served during time of war. The amendment would give the deductions and exemptions to veterans who did not serve in wartime.
Background as Prepared by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey Education Fund:
This question asks voters to extend the eligibility of a $250 veteran’s property tax deduction to those veterans who did not serve in a time of conflict. This question also asks voters to extend the 100 percent property tax deduction for veterans disabled in the line of duty even if not during a conflict or peace keeping mission. Approximately 25 percent, or just over 53,000, of veterans in New Jersey did not serve in a time of conflict or peace keeping mission.
Currently, honorably discharged veterans of 14 identified wars, conflicts or peace-keeping missions who are legal residents of New Jersey and own the property where they reside are eligible to receive a $250 property tax deduction. Surviving spouses of the veteran and spouses of those who died on active duty can also claim the deduction.
A yes vote on this question will extend the deduction to veterans and spouses of deceased veterans who did not serve in a time of conflict or peace keeping mission. A no vote will leave the program as it now exists.
Restrictions and requirements are outlined in the interpretive statement on the ballot.
Reason for Voting No:
● Extending this property tax deduction will increase expenditures from the Property Tax Relief Fund. Fiscal estimates, provided by the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services state this would cost the state $13.6 million from the fund in fiscal year 2020.
Reason for Voting Yes:
● Providing the property tax relief, as recognition of service rendered to our country, should extend to veterans who served our nation, regardless of the state of conflict
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey is a nonpartisan political organization whose goal is to increase all citizens' participation in government. Click here for more information on the Southern Monmouth County chapter.
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