***MULTIMEDIA PACKAGE*** Burzichelli on Pair of Bills to Boost Property Tax Relief for Seniors, Disabled

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Measures Would Increase Annual Income Limit for First Time in 30 Years; Tie Future Increases to CPI

(TRENTON) — Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem) issued a multimedia package Friday on his legislation that would help increase the number of New Jersey senior citizens and disabled residents who qualify for property tax relief.

One of Burzichelli’s bills (A-2542) would raise the annual income limit qualification of the state’s annual $250 property tax deduction for seniors and disabled residents from $10,000 to $20,000, which reflects actual inflation from 1983 — the last time this annual income limit was increased — to 2006. Thereafter, the annual income limit qualification will be tied to the Consumer Price Index, to ensure that the income limit keeps pace with the actual cost of living in the state.

However, because the current $10,000 annual income limit is enshrined in the state constitution, changing the limit requires a constitutional amendment. Burzichelli’s second bill (ACR-148) proposes amending the state constitution to increase the annual income limit qualification of the state’s annual $250 property tax deduction for seniors and disabled residents from $10,000 to $20,000. The increase would take effect in 2013, and in subsequent years, the annual income limit would be adjusted according to changes in the Consumer Price Index.

The multimedia package consists of a video of Burzichelli discussing his bills and audio and a transcript of same.

The video can be accessed directly via our website — www.assemblydems.com — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Burzichelli is appended below:

Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair:
“New Jersey’s property taxes continue to be a great struggle for people, and presently, the [state] constitution allows a $250 deductible for senior citizens and disabled persons of certain circumstances to be able to take advantage of this deduction from their property tax bill.

“But it’s driven by income and it’s been since 1983 that the threshold for income was established, so right now it’s a very low $10,000. And we know $10,000 in 1983 is different than $10,000 would be today.

“So, in crafting this, we did the inflation adjustment up to 2006 and then when the bill passes, going forward it will adjust automatically. So this new base will change as time passes and the value of the dollar passes.

“What this [bill] will do, this will raise a constitutional question where we will adjust the number from $10,000 to $20,000 of income, making a whole lot of people eligible. And we will also include a cost of living index, so we will not have to bother the constitution again going forward. So, a lot more people will qualify for this $250 tax deduction.

“The important thing is to get this important property tax relief to people who need it the most and deserve it, and that’s our seniors and the disabled.”