In addition to casting votes in statewide, county and local elections on November 5, Monmouth County voters will also be asked one public question on whether to give veterans who live in continuing care retirement communities the same property tax deduction that is offered to those living in private residences.

The League of Women Voters of New Jersey, a nonpartisan political organization whose goal is to increase all citizens' participation in government, offers an objective perspective of the question, including reasons for voting yes and no.

Question on the Ballot:

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Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow eligible veterans to receive the value of the veterans’ property tax deduction if they reside in a continuing care retirement community? The deduction shall be provided to a continuing care retirement community, which shall pass the value of the deduction on to the eligible veterans who live there.

Interpretive Statement on the Ballot:

This amendment would allow eligible veterans who live in continuing care retirement communities to receive the value of the $250 property tax deduction currently granted to veterans who reside in a private residence. This amendment would give the veterans’ property tax deduction to continuing care retirement communities on behalf of eligible veterans. The total amount of the deduction given to a continuing care retirement community would be based on the number of eligible veterans who live there. The community would be required to pass the value of the deduction on to each eligible veteran. Deductions would not be paid to continuing care retirement communities that are property tax-exempt. An eligible veteran who receives the value of a deduction through a continuing care retirement community cannot receive a veterans’ property tax deduction on any other home he or she owns or in which a spouse lives. Eligible veterans must be New Jersey residents. They must have served in the military in time of war or other emergency. They must be honorably discharged.

Background as prepared by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey:

This question asks voters to extend the eligibility of a $250 veteran’s property tax deduction to those living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). 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. If, however, an eligible veteran sells the property receiving the deduction and moves into a CCRC, he or she is no longer eligible. A yes vote on this question will extend the value of that deduction to the veteran when (he or she moves) into a CCRC. A no vote will leave the program as it now exists. Restrictions and requirements are outlined in the interpretive statement on the ballot.

A reason why a voter may vote yes:

Providing the property tax relief, as recognition of service rendered to our country, should follow the veteran who has to alter his or her living arrangements.

A reason why a voter may vote no:

Extending this property tax deduction will increase expenditures from the Property Tax Relief Fund. Fiscal estimates provided by the N.J. Office of Legislative Services range from $350,000 to $550,000.

 

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