TRENTON – The Division of Taxation has mailed out Senior Freeze checks worth $195 million to 163,000 senior and disabled homeowners around the state, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff announced.
“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,” the treasurer said.
To give eligible New Jersey residents the maximum opportunity to take advantage of the state’s property tax relief programs, Gov. Christie extended the filing deadline last month for both the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs to Oct. 19.
The Senior Freeze, officially known as the Property Tax Reimbursement Program, is available to homeowners or mobile home owners 65 or older who have low to moderate incomes, or to disabled residents who receive federal Social Security assistance.
Once a homeowner qualifies, the program sends that individual a check each year if they continue to qualify. The payment is designed to ease the effects of property tax increases for homeowners with fixed or limited incomes.
Checks were sent to recipients around the state 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’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget dedicates $213.5 million for the Senior Freeze, so there will be additional funds available to meet the needs of qualified taxpayers who have not yet filed,” the Treasurer noted. “The Administration’s goal is to make sure every eligible taxpayer can take advantage of the state’s property tax relief programs.”
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 the other program qualifications can file an application to establish a “base year” for any future reimbursements. 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. Further information on the Senior Freeze and Homestead Benefit programs is available at the phone numbers and websites below.
Phone Numbers for Tax Relief Programs
- Senior Freeze (Property Tax Reimbursement) Hotline: 1-800-882-6597 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays
- Division of Taxation’s Homestead Benefit Hotline: 1-888-238-1233 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Automated Tax Information System: 1-800-323-4400, available round the clock, every day of the week.
- Text Telephone Service for the Hearing Impaired: 1-800-286-6613 or 1-609-984-7300
- Phone filing of Homestead Benefit Applications: 1-877-658-2972
Web Sites for Tax Relief Programs
- Online filing of Homestead Benefit Application and general information about the Homestead Benefit and Senior Freeze programs: www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation
- General Homestead Benefit information: www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/homestead/geninf.shtml
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