Homestead Benefit bill linked to millionaire’s tax passes

TRENTON – A Homestead Benefit bill – S2096/A3202 –  making a supplemental appropriation of $789 million to a revised FY 2013 Homestead Benefit Program for both homeowners and tenants in addition to the FY 2013 appropriation of $398.5 million, was approved in the Assembly.

The bill provides for significantly enhanced property tax relief payments but is contingent upon the enactment of a “Millionaire’s Tax.”

Democratic Assemblyman Lou Greenwald said this bill is tie-barred to the millionaire’s tax bill approved moments earlier. The jobless rate is still over 9 percent in New Jersey, and he said this bill will provide relief from burdensome property taxes.

The mass exodus of middle-class families, not of millionaires who sell their homes to other millionaires, is what hurts the state’s comeback, he said.

But Republican Gary Chiusano rebutted those remarks. “Déjà vu all over again,’’ he said.  “We’re going to raise taxes on some folks to give tax breaks to other folks.’’

The bill passed by a vote of 47-31.