Van Drew / Madden / Sweeney Measure To Expand Homestead Reimbursment Advances

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew, Fred H. Madden and Stephen M. Sweeney to expand the State’s homestead property tax reimbursement to more seniors and disabled residents was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today.

“It is clear that homeowners and in particular, seniors and the disabled, are struggling to keep up with the increasing property tax burden, and they need relief,” said Senator Van Drew, D-Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland. “With high properties taxes, we need to be sure that those who need homestead property tax reimbursements remain eligible to receive them.”

“Tax rebates are vital to so many of our citizens,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “Unfortunately, under our current law, in order to be eligible for property tax reimbursement, residents are unable to move to a different residence. With the rapidly escalating cost of home ownership, including higher assessed values, higher property tax rates and increasing energy and insurance expenses, many seniors are forced to move to a smaller home or a new area, and when they move they lose out on a property tax reimbursement.”

According to Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem, “Under current law, an eligible resident must have paid property taxes directly, or through rent, on any homestead or rental unit used as a principal residence in this State for at least 10 consecutive years, including three as owner of the property for which a homestead property tax reimbursement is sought, prior to the date that an application for a homestead property tax reimbursement is filed.”

This bill, S-963, would revise the criteria for eligibility to receive a senior and disabled homestead property tax reimbursement.

Senator Sweeney stated that, “The bill would still require residents to meet the three year ownership requirement for initial eligibility. Under this measure, residents who moves to another home would still be eligible to receive a homestead property tax reimbursement beginning the second full tax year following their move.”

The bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for approval before moving to the full Senate for consideration.

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