TRENTON — Bipartisan legislation sponsored by state Sens. Steven Oroho and Paul Sarlo to facilitate charitable contributions for the development of northern New Jersey’s first veterans’ cemetery was advanced today by the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
The senators’ bipartisan measure would give taxpayers the option on their tax return to contribute a portion of their tax refund to support the development and operation of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The planned 66-acre parcel in Sussex County would be the first cemetery dedicated to veterans in the northern part of the state.
“This facility will at last give thousands of North Jersey veterans an honored resting place near the families and communities they fought to protect,” Oroho said. “Families and friends will now also have the comfort of being able to visit and pay tribute to their loved ones without having to drive hours outside their communities. Hopefully by adding this option to the tax return, more residents will give to this worthy project so that it can more quickly become a reality.”
New Jersey’s only state-run cemetery for veterans is the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Cemetery in Burlington County, a more than two-hour drive from some northern parts of the state. There are approximately 100,000 veterans living in the state’s northernmost counties, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
When opened, the veterans’ cemetery will be the first in the state to be operated as a nonprofit.
The Assembly version of the bill was re-introduced by Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose and Assemblyman Parker Space.