I moved to N.J. Can I get the Senior Freeze?

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Q. Can I get a property tax deduction or credit if I bought a condo in March 2019 when I moved to New Jersey? I am 66 years old.
— Garden Stater

A. You’ve got several items to consider, but your new arrival in the state disqualifies you from one popular program.

New Jersey allows all homeowners and renters a tax deduction for their real estate taxes.

Homeowners can deduct up to $15,000 in real estate taxes, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

He said renters are allowed to deduct 18% of their rent as a property tax deduction and are also limited to the maximum $15,000 deduction.

In addition to the income tax deduction for real estate taxes, New Jersey has the a program called the Senior Freeze.

The Senior Freeze program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence, Kiely said. To qualify, you must meet all of the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year.

To be eligible, you must have been 65 or older on Dec. 31, 2019 or receiving federal Social Security Disability benefits, he said.

Additionally, there is a residency requirement. You had to live in New Jersey continuously as a homeowner or renter since Dec. 31, 2008, Kiely said.

Also, the income limits for the Senior Freeze were $89,013 for 2018 and $91,505 for 2019.

“Unfortunately for you, you are not eligible for the Senior Freeze since you just moved into the state,” Kiely said.

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This story was originally published on May 15, 2020.

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