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Whelan Bill To Eliminate Barrier To Property Tax Relief For Veterans Advances

Measure Would Make Sure Veterans’ Property Tax Deduction Follows the Person, Not the House

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan which would change current law to ensure that eligible veterans who purchase a new home after October 1 can receive the veteran’s property tax deduction for which they are entitled on their new home was unanimously approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.

“The timing of a home sale shouldn’t preclude an eligible veteran from receiving property tax relief to which they’d otherwise be entitled,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Certainly, when New Jersey first introduced a veteran’s property tax deduction in the 1960s, it might have taken more time to process home sales in the system. But in today’s electronic age, there is simply no reason to delay shifting the veteran’s property tax deduction from one property to another, and we ought to allow people to collect all the property tax relief to which they’re entitled, particularly if that relief is earned in service to their nation.”

The bill, S-2929, would eliminate a stipulation in the existing law which prohibits veterans from transferring their property tax deduction to a new home if they close after October 1. Under current law, the veteran’s property tax deduction stays with the home if a veteran sells their home between October 1 and December 31 in the pretax year. According to Senator Whelan, while some veterans have been able to make arrangements with their home buyers during closing to get credit for the property tax deduction, other have lost out on a year’s worth of property tax relief because of the inflexibility of the current law.

“Under the current law, we recognize that a veteran’s property tax deduction is a modest, but worthy ‘thank you’ to the men and women who’ve served in our Armed Forces,” said Senator Whelan. “However, the system should be set up in a way that allows veterans to collect their property tax deduction, whether they sell their home on January 1, or December 31. Simply put, the property tax relief should follow the veteran, not the home, and this bill modernizes the veterans’ property tax deduction system to make sure vets get the deduction they deserve.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.