Are we eligible for the Senior Freeze program?

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Q. I just turned 77 and my husband turns 67 this month. We make less than $70,000 a year between Social Security and an annuity. Can we file for the Senior Freeze?
— Senior

A. Let’s go over the eligibility rules to qualify for the Senior Freeze in New Jersey.

The Senior Freeze program started in 1997, and it reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax increases on their principal residence.

To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year – the first year you became eligible – through the application year, said Matthew DeFelice, a certified financial planner with U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield.

The current application year is 2018.

To be eligible, you or your spouse must be at least 65 years old and you must have lived in New Jersey continuously for the last 10 years, either as a homeowner or renter, he said. You also must have owned and lived in your home for the last three years and have paid the full amount of property taxes due on your home

Then there are the income limits. You can read more about that here. 

“Keep in mind that all income received during the year must be taken into account when determining eligibility,” he said.

Also note that you are not eligible for a reimbursement on a vacation home or second home, or any property that you rent to someone else, he said.

If you meet all of the above criteria, you may be eligible for a reimbursement under the program, DeFelice said, but you should consult with your accountant or tax advisor to determine and confirm eligibility.

Email your questions to moc.p1566381094leHye1566381094noMJN1566381094@ksA1566381094.

This story was originally published August 2019.

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