Governor Christie today signed into law bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Steven Oroho and Paul Sarlo to facilitate charitable contributions for the development of northern New Jersey’s first veterans cemetery.
The Senators’ bipartisan measure, S361, gives 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.
“New Jersey taxpayers will now have an easy way to contribute to this very worthy effort and in doing so support the veterans who gave so much themselves to this state and country,” said Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren and Morris). “Establishing this cemetery in North Jersey will at last provide thousands of veterans an honored resting place near their family, friends and communities they love. I thank Governor Christie for his continued support of New Jersey’s veterans and encourage all who are able to do so take part in making this facility possible for our veterans and their families.”
“Thousands of veterans live in the state’s northern counties, yet our region has no facility available for burials once these brave soldiers pass. The Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery will give our veterans a final resting place in the area that allows family and friends to visit and to honor their loved one,” said Senator Sarlo (D-Bergen). “By including a method on the state tax forms to contribute to this effort, residents will have the opportunity to pay tribute to our local heroes and to help to make this project 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.
A group of veterans initiated the movement to build the cemetery and have secured a 66-acre parcel of land in Sparta, Sussex County. The project was approved by the New Jersey Cemetery Board in January. When opened, the veterans’ cemetery will be the first in the state to be operated as a nonprofit.