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Connors, Rumpf & Gove

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Connors-Rumpf-Gove Move to Protect Veteran Property Tax Exemption Status for Homes Destroyed by Natural Disasters

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Legislation introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove that would continue the tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Legislation by Connors, Rumpf & Gove would continue the tax exempt status of property owned by a 100 percent disabled veteran whose home has been destroyed by flood, storm event, natural cause, or other act of God. (U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen)

Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans of this State may claim a full local property tax exemption on their dwelling homes and the ground upon which the respective dwellings are located. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a storm or flood that destroys the dwelling, the property becomes taxable because it is no longer usable as the owner’s residence. The delegation’s legislation would continue the tax exempt status that the prior dwelling house and land enjoyed before its destruction, so long as substantial, ongoing construction is undertaken within four years of the destruction.

Members of the 9th District delegation serve on both the Senate and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.    The 9th District delegation issued the following statement regarding their veteran-property tax relief measure (S-900):

“Disabled veterans must be able to retain their tax exempt status in the event their home is destroyed by any natural disaster, such as Superstorm Sandy.

“Our delegation introduced this legislation in response to unfortunate cases in which disabled veterans living in our legislative district homes were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and lost their eligibility for the veterans’ property tax exemption because the property was not occupied. Correcting this defect in State law would be consistent with the rebuilding and recovery effort that New Jersey has undertaken.

“Veterans who served our nation, especially those who are 100 percent disabled, should be afforded the protection offered by our legislation so as not to be victimized twice – first by having their home destroyed and then incurring a financial hardship by the loss of a considerable form of tax relief.”

The Assembly companion measure, A-714, is awaiting action by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

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