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Madden Bill To Expand Homestead Rebate Program Clears Senate Budget And Appropriations Committee

TRENTON � A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden, which would expand New Jersey�s Homestead Property Tax Rebate program to help more seniors and disabled residents was unanimously approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

�The expansion of this program has been a long time in the making,� said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester, who first sponsored this legislation in 2004. �I am pleased to see that this bill is moving forward, especially during these difficult economic times. When approved, this measure would help to provide some much-needed financial relief for some of the State�s most vulnerable seniors and disabled residents.�

The Senator�s bill, S-661, would revise the eligibility criteria for seniors and disabled residents to receive Homestead property tax reimbursement. Under the bill, eligible residents would have to meet a three year home ownership requirement for initial eligibility. Eligible residents who move to another home would be permitted to resume eligibility to receive the homestead reimbursement the second full tax year following the move.

�As the economy continues to change, quite a few of our older and disabled residents find themselves having to move to more affordable homes. The impetus for this bill came from one of my Gloucester County constituents who was in this predicament. This bill would help to permit residents who would normally qualify for the homestead rebate program, but decide to move � out of necessity or otherwise, to receive these benefits,� said Senator Madden.

This measure was unanimously approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on June 5, 2008. It now heads to the full Senate for a vote.