Responding to complaints from irate homeowners, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are providing background as to why their Homestead Rebates are half of what they were promised when the current budget passed:
Connors, Rumpf & Gove explain why homeowners will only receive a portion of the Homestead Benefit they are owed under Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed FY 2019 state budget. (SenateNJ.com)
“During last year’s State Budget negotiations, a slippery deal was struck to fund only half the Homestead Benefit Program in the current Budget and delaying the other half of the payment until the start of a new fiscal year, which would begin this July.
“Wanting no part of this deal, our delegation voted against the State Budget in view of the fact that many of our constituents rely heavily on property tax relief programs, such as the Homestead Rebate, to be able to afford to remain in their homes. Worse, there was only an agreement – but no guarantee – that additional funding would be included in the following State Budget to compensate slighted homeowners for the half of the Homestead Rebate they didn’t receive.
“If blindsided homeowners didn’t have enough to be outraged about, the Governor’s proposed FY2019 State Budget again only provides funding for half of the Homestead Rebate program. Under the deal struck last year, granted under a different Governor, the upcoming Budget should fund a year and a half of the Homestead program.
“More funding can be found for just about every other government program, including large pay raises for certain state employees or tuition aid for illegal aliens. Astonishingly though, Trenton is just unwilling to provide adequate tax relief to homeowners under financial distress despite the fact that New Jersey has the highest property taxes and has among the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.
“Funding for the Homestead Rebate can be restored during State Budget deliberations. July 1 is the deadline for the State Budget to be approved, after which homeowners will know if they’ll get the remaining half of their Homestead Rebate. As always, our priorities will remain focused on representing the interests of taxpayers during Budget deliberations.”
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