When will I be eligible for the Homestead Rebate?

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Q. I am 57 years old and my spouse is 52, Our combined income is less than $50,000. We’ve owned a condo in a 55 and over community since June 2018. We have lived in New Jersey since 1998. Are we qualified for Homestead Rebate?
— Still working

A. Let’s go over the basics.

The Homestead Rebate program provides property tax relief to eligible homeowners.

The benefit doesn’t come to you as a check, but it’s paid directly to your municipality as an offset on your property tax bill, said Michael Maye, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with MJM Financial in Gillette.

The rebate is paid by delay. The latest year paid was for 2016 and the deadline for that year has passed.

For that year’s benefit, you had to be a New Jersey resident who has owned and occupied a home in NJ that was your principal residence as of Oct. 1, 2016 and your property taxes must have been paid, Maye said.

There is no partial year credit if you were not living in the home as of Oct. 1, 2016.

The 2016 income requirements were that you had to earn less than $150,000 for homeowners who are age 65 or older or blind or disabled, or $75,000 for those under age 65 and not blind or disabled.

Condos are eligible for the benefit, he said.

The state’s website addresses that specifically, and it also says vacation and second homes are not eligible.

So because you only owned your home from 2018, you’re going to have to wait for the state to get up to that year’s benefit, Maye said.

Keep an eye on the state’s website, which will eventually offer information on applying for benefits for later years.

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This story was originally published on Aug. 19, 2019.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.