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Kenny: Property Tax Relief Clearly Constitutional

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Bernard F. Kenny Jr. today dismissed Republican efforts to block tax relief for senior citizens, the disabled and homeowners who need the credits to be provided by the legislative reform initiative.

“The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for playing partisan games with our tax relief proposal.

“It’s clearly constitutional under Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 5.

“We were very conscious of the Uniformity Clause throughout our hearings during the summer and this reform initiative clearly dwells within its boundaries.

“This is the kind of stunt that has turned people off to those who serve in public office. Republicans should grasp that it is the people’s money we are trying to return to them.

“The Republican leadership has talked a great deal about wanting to move quicker on property tax reform, yet their actions seem to tell a much different story.

“Homeowners and many seniors throughout New Jersey are struggling and partisan ploys are a disgraceful reaction from a cast of characters who have been content to stand on the sidelines during this effort and do nothing.

“It boggles the mind as to why the Republican leadership wants to tie up much needed property tax relief for that would help 95% of all New Jersey homeowners.”

Article VIII, Section I, Paragraph 5 of the New Jersey Constitution reads:

“The Legislature may adopt a homestead statute which entitles homeowners, residential tenants and net lease residential tenants to a rebate or a credit of a sum of money related to property taxes paid by or allocable to them at such rates and subject to such limits as may be provided by law. Such rebates or credits may include a differential rebate or credit to citizens and residents who are of the age of 65 or more years, or less than 65 years of age who are permanently and totally disabled according to the provisions of the Federal Social Security Act, or are 55 years of age or more and the surviving spouse of a deceased citizen or resident of this State who during his lifetime received, or who, upon the adoption of this amendment and the enactment of implementing legislation, would have been entitled to receive a rebate or credit related to property taxes.”