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Senator James Beach addresses the Legislature.

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator James Beach that would enable residents to contribute to New Jersey nonprofit veterans organizations through their gross income tax returns was signed into law today.

The law, S-1670, will establish a special fund in the Department of the Treasury to be known as the “Fund for the Support of New Jersey Nonprofit Veterans Organizations.” Each taxpayer will have the opportunity to indicate on the New Jersey gross income tax return that a portion of the taxpayer’s tax refund or an enclosed contribution would be deposited in the special fund. Organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Marine Corps League would benefit under the new law as they provide critical support and service programs for New Jersey’s veterans.

“Many veterans organizations are facing economic challenges that can easily be addressed through monetary contributions from the community. Donating to support the men and women who served our country should be as easy and simple as checking a box when filing taxes and that is what this law does,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “By establishing a mechanism by which non-profits can collect funds in a more direct way, we can provide veterans with the support they need.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Veteran Affairs, there are more than 425,000 veterans living in the Garden State. Under the law, funds will be appropriated to create an annual grant program that would assist private nonprofit veterans organizations in providing programs and services to veterans. Currently, the primary source of funding is through the New Jersey Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission. By registering and licensing through the Commission and local municipality, organizations can receive proceeds via raffles. The law will provide a secondary avenue for organizations to receive funds.

The bill was approved by a vote of 36-0. The Assembly approved it 77-0 in October. The law takes effect immediately.