In honor of the sacrifices township residents perform while on active duty in the Armed Forces, South Brunswick officials are asking the state to lessen the property tax burdens for those individuals.
At a recent Township Council meeting, Councilman John O’Sullivan presented an idea that would relieve South Brunswick residents on active military duty while deployed in a combat zone from paying township real estate taxes for the period of time while they're deployed.
“I feel this is a way to help the service members and their families in these hard economic times by reducing some of the financial burden facing them," O'Sullivan said. “I initially introduced this idea at a council meeting in October, when I requested that the township investigate whether we could grant property tax exemptions to service members on active duty in combat zones.”
Following O'Sullivan's intitial presentation of the idea in October, Township Attorney Don Sears explored what options are available. After reaching out to the state, Sears informed the council that there are no New Jersey statues allowing property tax exemptions for military personnel.
New Jersey does provide some relief on income taxes to service members in a combat zone, but that relief does not apply to property taxes.
Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz said the township would write the state Division of Community Affairs to seek their opinion on whether South Brunswick is able to provide the exemptions.
“The time has come for our state legislature to study this proposal and pass a statute which allows our towns to say 'thank you' to our service members who are in a combat zone and help their families back home here in the Garden State,” O’Sullivan said. “Let’s start off 2013 with that thank you."