Cape May County Shortchanging Veterans and Seniors

Cape May County Shortchanging Veterans and Seniors

Four times a year, at the beginning of each new season, the Cape May County Department of Aging & Disability Services publishes "Senior News Notes," which provides a variety of information of interest to seniors. The four-page publication is distributed to senior centers throughout the county, as well as to the Main Library, the Stone Harbor Chamber of Commerce, the volunteers desk of Cape Regional Medical Center and the county freeholders office, among others.

Nowhere in that publication dedicated to seniors is there any information about the $250 annual property tax deduction that is available to eligible senior citizens and veterans. The publication's current editor said she has never written anything about the deductions since taking over the job and, after checking, she indicated that the previous editor, who had held that position for 15 years, had never written anything about the deductions.

It boggles the mind that the county cares so little for its seniors and veterans, who make up a significant portion of the county's permanent residents, that it does virtually nothing to inform them of the deductions to which they are entitled and about the state law that is now more than 50 years old!

It would almost be understandable if the county (and the communities therein) would be reluctant to reduce their tax collections by providing the annual $250 to veterans and senior citizens — but the state reimburses the communities for those deductions, so it doesn't cost them a dime except for the cost of bookkeeping. If you're not mad, you should be! 

To be fair, this lack of information about property tax deductions is not exclusive to Cape May County. It is generally true throughout the State of New Jersey. 

If you are not familiar with the law and the lack of community commitment to providing the property tax deductions, read Eligible For A Property Tax Deduction?Tax Breaks For Veterans and Seniors and Why Don't NJ Municipalities Talk About Property Tax Deductions?