We gratefully doubled tax break for NJ veterans

Let’s face it. For years on end, the Garden State has not fallen from its perch as one of the most highly taxed states in the nation. It’s not a place we want to be. Working to lower taxes is my top priority.

Taxes are too high for the hard-working families of Atlantic County, and throughout all of New Jersey. However, it can be particularly burdensome for veterans, many of whom struggle financially after leaving the service.

Heading into this year’s budget cycle, my colleagues and I in the Legislature agreed we needed to find a way to provide real tax relief to veterans. We knew that for all the sacrifices they have made, veterans deserved to have their tax relief doubled.

So that’s exactly what we did.

Effective July 1 under the fiscal year 2020 budget, New Jersey’s personal income tax deduction for veterans has been doubled, from $3,000 to $6,000, for service members who were honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from the United States Armed Forces, a reserve unit or the National Guard of New Jersey in a federal active-duty status. An estimated 387,844 veterans in New Jersey will be eligible to receive an average total benefit of $178.50 come tax time. The Legislature unanimously approved providing $29.5 million to give veterans this additional relief.

Veterans represent America’s finest men and women. Every dollar we can put back in their pockets is worth fighting for. It’s my hope that expanding the veterans tax deduction will serve as a reminder to veterans that their fellow New Jerseyans are grateful for their sacrifices.

Our tax problems in New Jersey are far from over. It’s not an issue that can be fully resolved in any single budget cycle. The fiscal year 2020 budget takes critical steps in the right direction, including doubling the veterans tax deduction, fully funding the Senior Freeze property tax reimbursement program for the first time in a decade, and devoting $150 million to property tax relief programs. I remain committed to fighting for the priorities that matter most to veterans.

Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo

Northfield

D-2nd, Atlantic

US already great enough

Suppose my husband decides to surprise me and buys a house that needs a complete renovation. He does a lot of the work himself; uses his time, energy and money to make it a wonderful house. Upon completion, he takes me to the project and I look all around the property, inside and out, and then I turn to him and say, “I can make this house great again.”

President Donald Trump is in effect saying to all the hard-working, taxpaying, law-abiding citizens and their families that this country did not meet his standards for greatness. I think this dismisses all the blood, sweat and tears put in to make this country great to begin with. I think those who believe his rhetoric insult everyone.

Joan Mahon

Villas

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