Legislation sponsored by Senator Jean Stanfield that would transform the Senior Freeze from a reimbursement program into a credit program was approved today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jean Stanfield that would transform the Senior Freeze from a reimbursement program into a credit program was approved today by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. (©iStock)
“The Senior Freeze provides needed property tax relief for older homeowners, including many who are struggling to make ends meet on fixed incomes,” said Stanfield (R-8). “Currently, seniors must wait for the Treasury to send out the checks by mail, which is a costly and inefficient process. My legislation will simplify the Senior Freeze by crediting property tax bills directly so seniors don’t have to wait months and months for a rebate check.”
Enacted in 1997, the homestead property tax reimbursement program, also known as the Senior Freeze, provides property tax relief to eligible seniors and homeowners with disabilities by reimbursing eligible claimants for property tax increases that occur after the claimant becomes eligible for the program.
Eligible seniors must be 65 years old, have lived in-state for at least 10 years, and owned and occupied their primary residence for at least three years.
Currently, individuals receive their reimbursement credit via check that is mailed to the primary residence. Stanfield’s legislation, S-1501, would allow most of these eligible homeowners to receive these savings in the form of a credit directly applied to their property tax bills.
“The intention of the Senior Freeze is to provide assistance with New Jersey’s sky-high property taxes to vulnerable seniors who deserve a break,” added Stanfield. “This small, but impactful modification to the program will dramatically simplify the entire reimbursement process so that seniors can receive their credit more efficiently.”