TRENTON, NJ --  To recognize and assist veterans independent of their combat experience, the State Legislature is moving to extend the property tax deduction to all veterans regardless if they served during peacetime or during a time of war or emergency.  

The measure (ACR-57), which would amend the New Jersey State Constitution, is sponsored by Assemblymen Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo (both D-Mercer and Middlesex).    If  the measure is approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, statewide voters would be able to decide at the next General Election whether to support the expansion of the tax deduction program for all honorably discharged military veterans.  A widow or widower also would receive the deduction after their veteran spouse's death.

Currently, these property tax benefits are given only to honorably discharged military veterans who served during time of war or other emergency.  The $250 property tax deduction is provided to veterans with a service-connected disability.

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The Mercer County assemblymen said that "anyone who is courageous enough to join the military in an effort to defend our country deserves our respect and recognition, regardless of whether they ever saw combat. This legislation especially helps women veterans, who were barred from combat units until only a few years ago. This is one way we can acknowledge the significance of every soldier's contribution to our armed forces."

The Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the potential constitutional amendment on Friday, December 6 at 2:00 pm in committee room 13 of the New Jersey State House located at 125 West State Street in Trenton.  

According to the U.S. Census, New Jersey is home to more than 350,000 veterans; of which 14,500 live in Mercer County.

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