Assembly Panel Advances Bill To Change NJ Senior Freeze Program

Mar 7, 2017

Assemblyman Ron Dancer
Credit Phil Gregory

New Jersey lawmakers are considering changing a program that gives a property tax break to eligible senior and disabled residents.

Instead of having to wait to get a rebate, the measure advanced by an Assembly committee would provide what's called the senior freeze benefit in the form of a credit applied directly to property tax bills.

Assemblyman Ron Dancer says one of his constituents experienced such hardship, it inspired him to introduce the legislation.

"She was trying to borrow money so she could get her tax bill paid and then wait a year for her reimbursement to come. She wanted to maintain her home, her husband had passed away, she had no other living relatives. It just pulled at my heartstrings."

Assemblyman Troy Singleton says the program now requires residents to pay their full tax bill before they’re eligible for a rebate. He believes the proposed change would help relieve their anxiety.

“We can give the seniors and disabled under this legislation an immediate tax reduction. They don’t have to worry about where the additional money is going to come from. Before the bill is sent to them, it will reflect the reduction.”

Sponsors say a direct credit could also save the state the costs of printing and mailing the reimbursement checks.