Trenton –In an effort to best assist disabled veterans, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan, that would make the property tax exemption afforded to totally disabled veterans retroactive to the effective date of the determination of the veteran’s total disability.
Under the bill, S-131, a municipality would be required to reimburse all property taxes paid by a totally disabled veteran who had been awaiting a certified determination by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state would reimburse each municipality an amount equal to 102 percent of the amount of any veterans’ property tax reimbursement granted in that municipality, as reported by their tax assessor.
“Unfortunately, sometimes veterans wait years to receive a certified determination of total disability from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Within that time frame, they still have to pay property taxes that would have otherwise been exempt. A veteran deemed to have been disabled in 2018 but who did not receive their determination until 2020 should have those payments returned to them. Our veterans who have sacrificed so much shouldn’t lose money over a technicality. This legislation will right that wrong.”
Under current law, a municipality is permitted, but not required, to refund the property taxes paid by a veteran who becomes certified as 100 percent disabled prior to the certification of their disability status. Many municipalities do not issue refunds, which results in the veteran having to pay property taxes for years in which those payments should not have been required.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.