(TRENTON) — Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden) issued a multimedia package Thursday on Assembly Democrats’ plan (A-3202) to significantly increase middle class and senior citizen property tax relief.
The bill (A-3202) would:
- Deliver a $789 million boost to the Homestead Benefit Program, which pays credits against local property taxes, helping lower a homeowner’s property tax bill;
- Triple the amount available under the program, providing for significantly enhanced property tax relief payments to the state’s beleaguered homeowners and tenants ($398.5 million had already been budgeted);
- Senior and disabled homeowners would receive homestead benefits according to existing law. This would equal 20 percent of the first $10,000 in property taxes paid in 2011 if an applicant’s income does not exceed $100,000, 15 percent if the applicant’s income is more than $100,000 but not more than $150,000 and 10 percent if an applicant’s income is more than $150,000 but not more than $250,000;
- Other homeowners would receive the same homestead benefits to which they are entitled under last year’s budget, but eligibility would be extended to homeowners with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000;
- Additionally homeowners would have their rebate calculated based on their 2011 property taxes paid rather than on their 2006 property taxes, as proposed in the governor’s budget proposal, making the relief more updated and meaningful;
- Senior and disabled tenants would receive benefits according to existing statute. Homestead benefits for these residents with incomes up to $70,000 would receive between $150 and $850. Those with incomes of $70,000 to $100,000 would receive $150; and
- Other tenants would receive 50 percent of the statutory rebates, which would amount to $75.
The governor had promised to fully fund this program, but in his first budget the governor cut it by 75 percent. Last year, the relief was remained just 50 percent of the fiscal year 2010 levels. For next fiscal year, the governor has proposed the same level as last year.
The multimedia package consists of a video, audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from Majority Leader Greenwald is appended below:
Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden):
“There should be a millionaires’ tax as a part of a solution to New Jersey’s financial problems; asking people to pay their fair share.
“So, while it’s not a part of the budget… It is a separate item, just as we did last year where we dedicated that money to suburban school aid. And the governor has to decide, is he going to keep his manic approach to protecting this fraction of one percent, or is he going to side with taxpayers around the state and give real relief?
“We’re giving him an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is and put the money into a program that gives immediate relief to real families throughout the State of New Jersey.”