Van Drew Bill To Exempt Disabled Veterans From Construction-Related Fees Clears Committee

Measure Would Exempt Disabled Veterans From Fees For Construction, Improvement To Structures Promoting Home Accessibility

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jeff Van Drew to exempt disabled veterans, or their caretakers, from having to pay fees for the construction or improvement of structures to promote accessibility to their homes was approved today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

“Soldiers returning from war with lost limbs, brain injuries and other conditions that limit their mobility have already paid an enormous price for our country. Asking them to pay a fee for the construction of something as basic as a ramp so they can gain access to their home is outright offensive,” said Senator Van Drew (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “This kind of project should be tax and fee exempt – no questions asked.”

Municipalities currently have the option of exempting all disabled persons from the fees by ordinance. The bill (S-918) would make it a requirement that a municipality exempt 100% disabled veterans, or their caretakers, from the payment of any construction permit surcharge fee or enforcing agency fee for any construction, reconstruction, alteration, or improvement designed and undertaken solely to promote accessibility by the disabled veteran to his own living unit.

Under the bill, a municipality would be entitled to reimbursement for the exempt fees upon application to the Department of Community Affairs.

The bill cleared the committee by a vote of 4-0. It now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration.