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DiMaio-Bucco Bill to Aid Development of Northern NJ Veterans Cemetery Clears Committee
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblymen John DiMaio and Anthony M. Bucco that would allow for voluntary contributions by taxpayers on gross income tax returns for the development of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery was approved today by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The bill, A-126, establishes the “Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery Development Fund” and provides for a designation on the state gross income tax return that will permit taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the fund. The monies will facilitate the development and operation of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
“Burying a veteran should not add to the grief of his or her surviving family. It also should not be a burden for them to visit the gravesite of their loved one, but for veterans and their families in Northern New Jersey that is currently problematic,” said DiMaio, R-Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset. “This measure is a very convenient and easy way for taxpayers to honor veterans and their families. Given the opportunity, I am certain residents throughout the state will be happy to support such a worthy cause.”
“There is a code among the military in which they take care of their own and this effort by a group of veterans to provide a final resting place for their colleagues in the northern part of our state is a testament to that,” said Bucco, R-Morris and Somerset. “It’s now our turn to help them make that happen. It is my hope that the Legislature will fast-track this bill in deference to the men and women who valiantly served our country and to their families.”
Northern New Jersey does not have a designated veterans’ cemetery. The state-operated Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, located in Wrightstown, Burlington County is at least a two hour drive for most residents of Northern New Jersey. In addition, the only national cemeteries in the area, maintained by the Veterans Administration, are located in Beverly, NJ and in Pennsylvania and New York. The other veterans’ cemeteries in the state – in Atlantic, Cumberland, Cape May, Gloucester and Salem counties – are all operated by their respective county governments.
There are about 100,000 veterans in the Northern New Jersey region. A group of veterans initiated the movement to build the cemetery, will be the state’s first nonprofit cemetery, and have secured a 66-acre parcel of land in Sparta, Sussex County. Once complete, there will be a section in the cemetery for about 16,000 graves and another section for remains. Sussex County, which donated the land, has pledged $50,000. Once the cemetery is operating, organizers of the project expect it to be self-sustaining.
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Assemblyman John DiMaio / 908-722-1365
Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco / 973-927-2526
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