Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are calling for action on their bill to protect 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.
9th district lawmakers are calling for action on their bill to protect 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. (©iStock)
The 9th District Delegation’s bipartisan-supported bill, S-900, passed the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee in late March of this year but has yet to be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The Assembly version of the bill, A-714, is still awaiting action by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“Under current law, 100 percent disabled veterans claim a full local property tax exemption on their primary home. Regretfully, it became apparent after Superstorm Sandy that the law does not protect the veteran’s exemption in the event of a natural disaster if the property is no longer useable as the owner’s residence.
“In what should be an easy and obvious fix, our delegation introduced this bill to continue the veterans’ property tax exempt status enjoyed before the destruction of their home, so long as substantial, ongoing construction is undertaken within a specified period of time.
“Veterans who served our nation, especially those who are 100 percent disabled, should be afforded the protection offered by our bill so as not to be victimized twice – first by having their home destroyed, and then by incurring a financial hardship from the loss of a considerable form of tax relief.
“Time was certainly found to ramrod a string of tax increases through Budget Committees during this year’s state budget process, but not to consider our disabled veterans’ bill. Adding to the frustration is that our bill would have no fiscal impact on the state, because the veterans who would be affected by the legislation do not pay property taxes in the first place.
“Governor Murphy recently announced changes to Superstorm Sandy Recovery Houses Programs in an effort to assist Sandy-impacted victims who are still experiencing bureaucratic obstacles. Correcting this defect in the disabled veterans property tax exemption law, which stands as an insult to veterans, would be consistent with the newly rolled our Sandy victims assistance efforts.”
Members of the 9th District Delegation serve on both the Senate and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.