With budget-writing season heating up, State Sen. Linda Greenstein, (D-14), of Plainsboro, and her district-mates Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel Benson, both of Hamilton, will host a Friday morning seminar with constituents to discuss the status of the Property Tax Reimbursement Program – commonly known as the “senior freeze” program, they said in a release.
Under Gov. Chris Christie’s proposed budget, they said, no new residents would be able to enter into the program and the income eligibility would remain the same as last year for those seeking to establish their “base year,” the year in which their property taxes will be frozen going forward.
The seminar will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Monroe Township Library. “Seniors from across New Jersey rely on the ‘Senior Freeze’ rebate as a means of paying their bills to stay in the homes and communities where they raised their families,” said Greenstein in the release. “It’s shameful that the Governor is breaking his promise to seniors by cutting funding to senior freeze and raising their property taxes.”
According to the release, since January 2010, the state has slashed funding for the property tax relief program that has allowed more than 136,000 eligible homeowners to “freeze” their property taxes at a certain amount, insulating them against future tax hikes.
Despite claims by Christie that he has fully funded the program, they said, “the fact remains that no resident who first applied for the program in 2010 or this year will receive a rebate.”
“These folks deserve to be told the truth about the lies they are being told when it comes to the property tax assistance that they were promised and desperately need,” DeAngelo said. Benson added, “Taking care of our seniors should be a top priority. Making sure that it is affordable for them to continue to live in the communities where they raised their families should be paramount.”
Under the proposed budget for FY12, only those applicants who received a reimbursement check for 2009 and whose income for 2010 does not exceed last year’s income limit of $70,000 would be eligible to receive a reimbursement for 2010. Applicants also must be a resident of New Jersey for 10 years having lived in their current home for the last three years.
All applications for the senior freeze program – those who historically received funding and those creating a base year – must be submitted before Oct. 31 to establish this base year to enter the program. Information regarding the program is posted on the State of New Jersey Department of Treasury website (www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/propfrez.shtml).