Voters in three states pass ballot measures aimed at veterans, spouses

Voters in three states pass ballot measures aimed at veterans, spouses

Voters in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday all passed ballot measures aimed at increasing benefits for veterans and their families, according to projections from The Associated Press

In Florida, voters approved by an overwhelming majority an amendment to the state constitution which would allow for the transfer of a property-tax discount given to combat veterans age 65 and older to their surviving spouses until the spouse remarries or sells the property. 

Prior to the amendment, the property tax discount had been removed after a veteran died. 

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The AP reported that approximately 89.7 percent of voters in the Sunshine State supported the measure, based on 99 percent of the state reporting. 

"Veterans aren't the only ones sacrificing their lives for the country," the board of Florida Today wrote in a September editorial. "That sacrifice is shared by their spouses and family, and they too deserve a property tax break."

In New Jersey, voters approved a public question 76.3 percent to 23.7 percent to make peacetime veterans in the state eligible for a $250 property tax deduction, according to the AP. 

The amendment was first proposed in the New Jersey legislature in December 2019. According to information compiled by Ballotpedia, it is estimated that the measure will benefit an additional 4,000 New Jersey veterans, but is expected to cost the state an estimated $38 million in revenue. 

Virginia residents also voted, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, for a veteran car tax exemption. 

The measure allows veterans who have a 100 percent, permanent disability as decided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to exempt one automobile or pickup truck from state and local property taxes. 

According to the AP, 85.9 percent voters supported the measure, with only 14.1 percent opposed. 

Each of the measures across the three states are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.