In Galloway Township v. Duncan, the N.J. Tax Court decided a case where the Defendant, a veteran who suffered from a service-connected 100% permanent disability, sought personal residence tax exemption as a result of the disability.
According to the Court, the NJ State legislature “provided by law” that a veteran suffering a disability declared by the United States Veterans Administration as a total or 100% permanent disability sustained through military service was exempt from taxation on his or her residence. N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.30(a). For defendant to establish eligibility for exemption, she must meet the requirements of: (1) a citizen and resident of the state; (2) now or hereafter honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances; (3) service in an “other emergency”, in this case Operation Enduring Freedom; (4) such service in any branch of the United States military; and (5) declared by the United States Veteran’s Administration to suffer a total or 100% permanent disability which was service connected.
The court held defendant was a citizen and resident of the state at all relevant times, she served in the military and was honorably discharged from service. The heart of the dispute was whether defendant’s service constituted an “other emergency” as defined. The court found that Operation Enduring Freedom was an added conflict protected by the Act and that defendant’s service as a neurologist was considered “direct support” entitling her to tax exempt status. (Approved for Publication) [Filed Nov. 14, 2016]