Public Hearing

before



ASSEMBLY COMMERCE, TOURISM, GAMING

AND MILITARY AND VETERANS' AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR



ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION Nos. 29, 79 and 143



(Proposes constitutional amendment to increase property tax deduction for veterans)




LOCATION: Committee Room 16

State House Annex

Trenton, New Jersey

DATE: June 7, 1999

1:00 p.m.



MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:



Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina, Chairman

Assemblyman George F. Geist

Assemblyman Guy R. Gregg

Assemblyman Kenneth C. LeFevre

Assemblyman Jack Conners

Assemblyman Louis D. Greenwald



ALSO PRESENT:



Edward P. Westreich Tasha M.Kersey Yolette Ross

Karlis C. Povisils Deborah K. Smarth Assembly Democratic

Office of Legislative Services Assembly Majority Committee Aide

Committee Aides Committee Aides

Michael H. Wysong

State Legislative Director

Department of New Jersey

Veterans of Foreign Wars

of the United States 2



rs: 1-4















ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH AZZOLINA (Chairman): Sorry for the delay.

The first bill we're going to handle is because some people have to get back to a convention or something.

The public hearing on--

Everybody here?

Take a roll call.

MR. POVISILS (Committee Aide): Assemblyman Greenwald?

ASSEMBLYMAN GREENWALD: Yes.

MR. POVISILS: Assemblyman Conners?

ASSEMBLYMAN CONNERS: Yes.

MR. POVISILS: Assemblyman LeFevre?

ASSEMBLYMAN LeFEVRE: Here.

MR. POVISILS: Assemblyman Gregg?

ASSEMBLYMAN GREGG: Here.

MR. POVISILS: Assemblyman Geist?

ASSEMBLYMAN GEIST: Here.

MR. PROVISILS: Vice-Chairman Asselta? (no response)

Chairman Azzolina?

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: Here.

All right, the public hearing on ACR-29,79, and 143--

MR. POVISILS: This proposed constitutional amendment would increase the property tax deduction for veterans from the current rate -- $50 rate to $100 for calendar year 2000; $150 for calendar year 2001; $200 for calendar year 2002; and $250 for each year thereafter. The veterans' property tax deduction provided for in the State Constitution has not been increased since 1963.

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: Does anybody want to speak on the bill?

The VFW--

Anybody else want to speak on the bill? (no response)

M I C H A E L H. W Y S O N G: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee.

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: Mr. Warner, do you want to speak on the bill, too? Come on up.

MR. WYSONG: My name is Mike Wysong. I'm the State Legislative Director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank this Committee and the leadership in the Assembly on both sides of the aisle for their leadership on moving this legislation.

I do want it to be know publicly -- those thanks, and also that the -- this measure will not increase the taxpayers' tax -- the citizens of New Jersey -- their tax because we all know it will come out of the $750 million surplus. And I'd like that to be a part of the record and that message get out to the great citizens of New Jersey.

Once again thank you, Mr. Chairman.

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: Thank you.

Mr. Warner, do you want to speak? (negative response)

The American Legion is not here. They have a convention. I told them it wasn't necessary to just ride up here for a few minutes. So all the veteran groups are for the bill, and I'd like to call on--

Who just raised their hand?

Okay, Mr. Geist.

ASSEMBLYMAN GEIST: Chairman Azzolina, I just want to say personally and publicly that during the Memorial Day weekend, I learned of appreciation from our veterans, appreciation that should be addressed to you as Chairman because the veterans throughout New Jersey know of you as their best friend in the General Assembly because it was, as a result of your leadership, this legislation was considered, that this legislation was approved, that this legislation was cosponsored by all the members of this Committee and that this hearing occurs today.

So in a year in which our Chairman has received some commentary about his advocacy, I think it's important that the record reflect that there's been overwhelming appreciation for your leadership in this endeavor, Chairman Azzolina.

I just wanted to convey that to you and to say thanks.

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: Assemblyman Geist, it was nice of you to do that, but we've also-- It was us, as a team, that put this together. We went and had a little caucus, and we all agree this was the right thing to do. And I, like you, saw a lot of veteran groups this weekend -- last weekend. I'll tell you it was hot. I was in four parades.

So they all express their thanks to us for doing this.

Okay, any other comments? (no response)

If not, I'll take a motion.

MR. POVISILS: You don't have to. You could just say the public hearing portion is completed.

ASSEMBLYMAN AZZOLINA: The public hearing portion is concluded.

(HEARING CONCLUDED)