(WEST ORANGE, NOVEMBER 4)- Schundler for Governor campaign manager Bill Pascoe today issued the following statement regarding Jim McGreevey’s poor record on veterans issues:
“As Woodbridge Township prepares to host its Veterans’ Day ceremony at the Veterans’ Monument in front of its Main Library, someone should ask Mayor Jim McGreevey about the plight of Woodbridge resident and disabled veteran, Albert Deal.
“Albert Deal is a disabled veteran of the US Army who lives on Carol Avenue in Woodbridge. Albert Deal is one of those middle class New Jerseyans who Jim McGreevey says are his primary concern. But Jim hasn’t shown much concern for the $11,000 in property taxes that Albert Deal was wrongly billed by the McGreevey administration.
“As a disabled veteran who qualifies for a tax exemption under New Jersey law NJSA 54:4-3.31, Albert Deal was supposed to be exempt from paying his property taxes. However, Jim McGreevey’s administration at Town Hall has refused for more than two years to accept Mr. Deal’s credentials as a disabled veteran and repeatedly refused to exempt him from paying property taxes.
“After successfully appealing the McGreevey administration’s rejection of his veteran’s status to the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Albert Deal now no longer has to pay $5,500 annually in property taxes -- but he is still owed two years worth of tax refunds from Woodbridge. Rather than acting like a leader and taking responsibility for this mistake, Jim McGreevey has refused to apologize to Mr. Deal, and he has refused to refund this middle class disabled veteran $11,000 in property taxes that he was wrongly charged.
“Jim McGreevey’s insensitivity to a member of the New Jersey veterans’ community should not surprise anyone who has followed his political career. After all, this is the same Jim McGreevey who has refused to endorse ‘A Vet is a Vet’ legislation (A-3755), which would provide an extra $25 million in property tax relief to 100,000 veteran homeowners. This is the same Jim McGreevey who, as a State legislator, voted against $13.8 million in funding for the expansion of the Menlo Park Veterans’ Home -- a facility that was located within his own legislative district. This is the same Jim McGreevey who snubbed the New Jersey VFW by not attending its gubernatorial candidate forum last month. And this is the same Jim McGreevey who refuses to explain why, at this very moment, the City of Woodbridge is using zoning tactics to stall the sale of an excess VFW facility in Iselin.
“At a time when the men and women of the United States armed forces are fighting a war overseas against terrorism, we are reminded of the tremendous sacrifices that veterans have made for their country throughout history. New Jersey needs a governor to be a strong advocate for veterans, not a career politician who only has time to meet with fat-cat political contributors and special interest groups. New Jersey needs a leader who respects veterans. New Jersey needs Bret Schundler.”