Q. My husband is 65 years old and will be 66 in October 2017. We called the Senior Freeze Property Tax Reimbursement Program to inquire about this program and they stated you must be 67, not 65. They said you must have been born in 1950 or prior. Is this correct?
— Confused senior
A. The confusion here is because of the way the program works. Eligibility for the program is based in part on your birth date, but you have to remember that the program works a little retroactively.
According to the New Jersey Division of Taxation, in order to qualify for the 2016 Senior Freeze, you need to be at least 65 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2015 – in other words, born on or before Dec. 31, 1950, said Michael Ciccone, a certified financial planner with Tradition Capital Management in Summit.
“The current year for this program is 2016 and the filing deadline for 2016 applications has been extended to Oct. 18, 2017,” Ciccone said. “From your question, it sounds like your husband was born sometime in October of 1951 making him ineligible for the 2016 year – though he should be eligible for the 2017 year.”
In addition the age requirement, there are several other requirements one would need to meet to be eligible for this program, he said.
• You (or your spouse/civil union partner) must be at least 65 or older going into the “base year” or current year of the program (currently 2016). For the 2016 program year, they must be born on or before Dec. 31, 1950. Or, you must be actually receiving federal Social Security disability payments (not benefit payments received on behalf of someone else).
• You must have lived in New Jersey continuously for at least the last 10 years, as either a homeowner or renter.
• You must have owned and lived in your current home for at least the last three years.
• You must have paid the full amount of property taxes due on your home.
You can find the income worksheet here.
“Additionally, you are not eligible for a reimbursement on a vacation or second home, or property that you rent to someone else, or property that consists of more than four units, or property with four units or less than contains more than one commercial unit,” he said.
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