Remove the combat zone requirement for Disabled NJ Veterans tax exemption
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In the Great State of New Jersey, the government saw fit to exempt 100% disabled veterans from property tax in 1946 by enacting N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.30. This statute exempted all veterans from personal property tax providing that they were:
1. 100% disabled as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs
2. Discharged honorably
3. Residents of the state of NJ
4. Served during a time of war
5. Requested an exception on their primary residence
Since that time, the statute has been progressively narrowed until the current prevailing interpretation is that a veteran must have served 14 days in an actual combat zone, and further that operations post 9/11 are considered to be "peace keeping missions".
This petition calls for the government of the State of New Jersey to apply the tax exemption to ALL 100% disabled veterans who served during time of active conflict equally, in accordance with the actual language of the State Constitution and Statute. Neither the Constitution nor the Statute have wording requiring the 14 day combat zone period, nor do they term post 9/11 operations as peace keeping missions. The statue also clearly states that such disability may be the result of enemy action, accident, or disease - yet municipalities in New Jersey are continuing to deny veterans who do not have this arbitrarily required combat zone time.
Though combat veterans deserve our admiration, respect, and thanks it should not be that those who served our nation with honor but, through no fault of their own, did not fight in war are forgotten. Indeed all veterans who find themselves disabled and unable to work also find themselves dealing with similar financial difficulty, and the original intent of the legislation was to provide relief to veterans who served honorably and are disabled. Each veteran who served in a time of active combat operations had no choice in whether or not they were ordered into combat, but all volunteered regardless of the possibility that they might.
Given that the number of Veterans claiming ANY form of VA benefits constitutes less than one percent of the total population of the state of New Jersey (per the most recent state census and Dept. Of Veterans Affairs State by State summary), it is clear that applying this exemption across the board for all 100% disabled veterans who served honorably during a time of active combat operations, is not in any way burdensome on the state.
This petition calls for the removal of the unnecessary and unilateral requirement of combat zone duty for the disabled veterans personal property tax exemption in the State of New Jersey.
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