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Whelan Introduces Bill To Close Property Tax Relief Loophole For Veterans

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

TRENTON – Senator Jim Whelan yesterday introduced legislation designed to close a loophole under current law that prohibits eligible veterans who purchase a new home after October 1 from receiving the veteran’s property tax deduction for which they are entitled on their new home.

“This is a matter of fairness for veterans, who shouldn’t lose out on property tax relief over a simple matter of timing,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “When the veteran’s property tax deduction law was written in the 1960s, it may have taken a little more time to process home purchases in the system. In today’s electronic age, there is simply no reason to have a black-out period from October 1 to December 31, and we ought to change the law to allow people to collect the property tax relief they’re entitled to as a result of their service to this nation.”

The bill would eliminate the loophole 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.

“Our state constitution recognizes this deduction as a modest but worthy ‘thank you’ to New Jersey’s veterans,” said Senator Whelan. “However, the system should be set up in a way that the property tax deduction follows the veteran, and not the home, whether the person sells their home on January 1 or December 31. This bill is about modernizing the veterans’ property tax deduction system, and ensuring that eligible vets are able to collect the deduction they deserve.”

The bill will likely be referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee for consideration. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.