NEW JERSEY - In the upcoming local elections on November 5th, voters in New Jersey will decide whether to extend a tax deduction for veterans living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities. This is the only public question that will appear in every ballot in the state. Because this tax deduction is enshrined in New Jersey’s state constitution, any change must be decided by the voters.

The question that will appear on the ballot will read as follows: “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.” According to a copy of the bill posted on the New Jersey State Legislature website.

Under New Jersey law, veterans living in the state who served in combat or other emergency situations are entitled to a $250 property tax deduction. This law does not extend to those in the state living in CCRCs. According to a fiscal analysis done by the Office of Legislative Services, a non partisan panel tasked with monitoring budget policies, approximately 1,662 veterans in New Jersey reside in CCRCs and cannot access the property tax deduction. Assuming that the bill were to pass, the OLS has estimated increase in State expenditures associated with this amended bill would be approximately $424,000 per year.

The OLS has estimated that the tax deduction will cost the state about $350,000-$550,000 per year. The state reimburses 102 percent of the value of the deduction to each municipality. CCRCs would not be required to cover the cost of the deductions, they would be paid for by the state by the out of the property-tax relief fund.