Tax Court Grants Property Tax Exemption to Disabled National Guard Veteran

In Alemany v. Township of Marlboro (Docket No. 007209-2023) (approved for publication), Presiding Tax Court Judge Sundar held that the taxpayer qualified for exemption under the amendments to the veterans exemption statute and the New Jersey Constitution. The taxpayer served in the Army National Guard from 2011 through 2019 and was declared by the VA to be 100% disabled due to her service-connected disability. The municipality argued that the exemption did not apply because Plaintiff served in the Army National Guard and was discharged from active-duty training. Prior to 2020, the constitutional provisions reserved property exemption for disabled veterans that were honorably discharged “from active service in time of war.” The constitutional amendment removed the phrase “in the time of war” so that peacetime veterans would also be entitled to the exemption. The phrase was similarly removed from statute. The Tax Court held that under the amendments the taxpayer’s National Guard duty constituted “active service” in the Army. Further, the fact that the taxpayer was discharged from active duty training was not disqualifying. Accordingly, the veteran was granted the exemption.