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Sunday, July 21, 2024

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Corzine: Homeowner Rebate Checks Are in the Mail

 

By Herald Staff

WEST TRENTON – Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced on Monday, Sept. 15 that approximately 1 million New Jersey non-senior homeowners will soon be pocketing an average of nearly $1,000 each in relief with today’s mailing of Homestead Rebate checks for 2007.
“In these difficult economic times, it more important than ever to help ease the property tax burden on New Jersey families,” stated Corzine in a release. “While we worked with the Legislature to cut overall budget spending by $600 million this year, we still increased property tax relief and preserved rebates for most citizens at last year’s record high levels. At the same time, we’ve put reforms into place that will go a long way toward permanently stabilizing property taxes.”
Corzine’s comments were delivered at the rebate check distribution point – the Office of Information Technology’s “HUB.” The checks will start arriving in mailboxes tomorrow.
This is the second and final major mailing for the homestead rebates, as senior citizens and tenants received their checks in late July. Approximately 1.6 million homeowners will receive the checks this year.
The FY 2009 budget contains approximately $16.7 billion in property tax relief, which represents more than one-half of the $32.9 billion budget. The Homestead Rebate checks, funded at $1.7 billion for FY 2009, are part of $2.5 billion in the budget for direct relief through checks and property tax credits. The relief is also paired with recently enacted reforms, including a 4 percent cap on property tax growth.
The first three Corzine administration budgets have provided a total of $48.2 billion in property tax relief, including $7 billion in direct relief. When measured against the combined (estimated) residential property tax levy from calendar years 2005 through 2007 ($47.5 billion), the budgeted direct relief of $7 billion has offset approximately 17 percent of local property taxes over the last three years.
“We are making real progress with easing the property tax burden by making local and direct relief a top budget priority,” said Corzine. “When the property tax cap, pension and health benefit changes and other reforms are taken into account, we’ve also put systemic improvements in place that will help keep property taxes under control in the long term.”
State Treasurer David Rousseau said that eligible non-senior, non-disabled homeowners (under age 65 and not disabled as of December 31, 2007) who filed their applications by August 15 can expect to receive their 2007 rebate checks in this mailing. Those who requested direct deposit will have their rebates deposited directly into their bank accounts. Applicants with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive a percentage of the first $10,000 of property taxes paid in 2006. The percentage of property taxes is dependent on income.
Homeowners with incomes of $100,000 or less will receive 20 percent of the first $10,000 of property taxes paid in 2006; those whose incomes are between $100,001 and $150,000 will receive 10 percent of the first $10,000 of property taxes paid in 2006. Those with income over $150,000 are not eligible for the rebate this year.
The Treasurer also noted that applications for the Homestead Rebates are still being accepted.
“Homeowners and tenants who still have not applied for the rebate have until October 31, 2008, to file their applications. The clock is winding down, so anyone who has not yet filed should do so quickly,” he said.
Homeowners may file by phone (1-877-658-2972) or online at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Tenants can complete and file a paper Homestead Rebate Application, Form TR-1040. Copies of Form TR-1040 and instructions are available on the Division of Taxation’s Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/prntgit.htm . Or, tenants can use NJ WebFile, the Division’s free Internet filing system, which is available at www.njwebfile.com
Applicants who have already filed can check the status of their rebate check by calling 1-877-658-2972, or online at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/homestead/hrintro.htm .
Information about the Homestead Rebate Program is available online at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/homestead/hrintro.htm or by calling the Homestead Rebate Hotline (1-888-238-1233 for homeowners or 1-888-213-8623 for tenants).
Information regarding all State property tax relief programs can be found on the Division of Taxation’s Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/relief.htm .
Easing the Property Tax Burden in New Jersey
Total Property Tax Relief in FY 07, 08, and 09 Budgets
• FY 07: $14.9 billion
• FY 08: $16.6 billion
• FY 09: $16.7 billion
• Three year total: $48.2 billion
Direct Property Tax Relief in FY 07, 08 and 09 Budgets*
• FY 07: $1.7 billion
• FY 08: $2.8 billion
• FY 09: $2.5 billion
• Three year total: $7 billion
* Direct includes Homestead Rebates, Senior Freeze, property tax deduction, veterans’
property tax deduction and the senior/disabled property tax deduction.
How Direct Relief Lightens New Jersey’s Tax Burden
Total *Residential Property Tax Levy:
• 05: $14.8 billion
• 06: $15.9 billion
• 07: $16.8 billion
• Minus Direct Relief: -$7 billion
• Three year net levy: $41.2 billion
Direct relief has offset 17 percent of local property taxes
*Residential property levy is approximately 76 percent of total levy
How State Aid Shrinks the Local Tax Bill
State Aid to Local *Education:
• FY 07: $10.3 billion
• FY 08: $10.9 billion
• FY 09: $11.5 billion
State Aid to Municipalities:
• FY 07: $2.0
• FY 08: $1.9 billion
• FY 09: $1.8 billion
*Education support on average represents one-half to three quarters of local property tax bill
Making Room for Property Tax Relief
• No new or increased taxes in two years
• FY 09 spending $600 million below FY 08
• $3 billion in actions to hold line on FY 09 spending
• Operating budget for every Department cut
Easing the Burden Through Property Tax Reforms
• 4 percent cap on levy growth (special session reform)
• The $6.4 billion in savings from pension and health benefit reforms through 2022 includes $1.6 billion in savings to local governments
• Spending vigilance through State Comptroller and new county schools superintendents
• Incentives for mergers and consolidations

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