Senior Freeze checks mailed

TRENTON – Tax relief checks averaging about $1,200 per person have been mailed to approximately 163,000 seniors and disabled homeowners, the state reported today.

The Senior Freeze checks totaling about $195 million are a property tax reimbursement method available to home owners who are 65 or older with low to moderate incomes, or who are disabled.

“This year’s Senior Freeze checks average almost $1,200 per recipient and will provide important help to senior and disabled residents in these stressful economic times,” Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said in a statement.

Checks were sent to recipients who met the original June 1 filing deadline for the Senior Freeze. Taxpayers whose applications needed further work or modifications have been notified of what they must do to complete the process, the state reported.

Gov. Chris Christie extended the filing deadline last month for both the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs to Oct. 19.

There is $213.5 million in the fiscal year 2013 budget for Senior Freeze, the treasurer said.

To be accepted for the Senior Freeze program, an applicant must have had 2011 income of no more than $70,000.

In addition, an applicant with 2011 income of no more than $80,000 who meets  other program qualifications can file an application to establish a “base year” for any future reimbursements, according to the Treasurer’s office. Then if program qualification levels change in future years and more taxpayers become eligible, they will be protected against any increase in their property taxes that occurs after their base year.

Phone Numbers for Tax Relief Programs

Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement) Hotline:

18008826597 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays

Division of Taxation’s Homestead Benefit Hotline:

18882381233 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Automated Tax Information System:

18003234400, available round the clock, every day of the week.

Text Telephone Service for the Hearing Impaired:

18002866613 or 6099847300

Phone filing of Homestead Benefit Applications:

18776582972 3 Senior Freeze checks mailed