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Posted on: April 5, 2019

Surviving Spouse Tax Exemption Ruling Reversed

Earlier this week the Appellate Division issued a published opinion dealing with the applicability of the disabled veterans’ property tax exemption to certain surviving spouses of qualified disabled veterans. Simply put, in Rosanna Pruent-Stevens v. Toms River Twp., the court was tasked with determining whether the terms widow/widower define a person or a marital status. 

This case stems from a 2017 Tax Court ruling that found the term widow/widower applies to a person and not a marital status; allowing a surviving spouse who lost eligibility due to remarriage to regain eligibility should they once again be unmarried. The Appellate Division reversed the Tax Court, finding that once a widow/widower remarries they completely extinguish their eligibility for the disabled veterans' property tax exemption, even if the surviving spouse is later unmarried.

You should review this ruling with your municipal attorney and your municipal tax assessor and collector for more information on how this decision could impact your municipality.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, or 609-695-3481, x137.

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