Timberlake, Quijano and Schaer Bill to Allow Residents to Deduct Lead Abatement Costs from Gross Income Tax Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation to Help Residents Protect Their Families from Lead

Addressing the issue of lead in New Jersey homes, legislation sponsored by Assembly members Britnee N. Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic), Annette Quijano (D-Union), and Gary Schaer (D-Bergen, Passaic) that would allow taxpayers to deduct up to a combined $45,000 from gross income in a year for certain lead expenses cleared an Assembly panel on Monday.

The bill (A-1841) would allow deductions for the following expenses:

  • lead-based paint hazard abatement in the taxpayer’s home, if performed by a certified lead abatement contractor;
  • asbestos hazard abatement in the taxpayer’s home, if performed by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor;
  • replacement of a water service line containing hazardous amounts of lead, if the line is owned by the taxpayer, the line is on the real property of the taxpayer’s home, and the line’s replacement is necessary for abatement of the hazard in the taxpayer’s home; and
  • replacement of plumbing containing hazardous amounts of lead in the taxpayer’s home.

The sponsors issued a joint statement upon the passage of the legislation out of committee:

“Lead abatement can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, an expensive endeavor for any working family; however, it is necessary as residents with older homes continue to try to protect their families from the invasive problem of lead in their homes.

“Currently, businesses may deduct environmental remediation costs such as asbestos abatement as repairs under most circumstances. Homeowners should similarly be allowed to deduct the costs of lead abatement to recoup the exorbitant costs of fixing and replacing pipes in a home. 

“We have a long way to go to cure our communities of lead. This is a step in the right direction. This legislation is both an incentive and much-needed financial relief for homeowners who incur expenses for lead and asbestos hazard abatement to keep their families safe and improve communities.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee. It will now go to the Speaker for further consideration.