23 Feb I’m a senior. How can I freeze my property taxes?
Q. I am 69 and live in a 55+ community. My property taxes go up every year. How can I put a freeze on the yearly increases? I am on a fixed income.
— Still working
A. New Jersey offers several tax breaks for seniors.
The one getting the most attention right now is the new ANCHOR property tax program, which replaced the Homestead Rebate.
The deadline for the 2019 benefit year is Feb. 28, 2023. You didn’t indicate for how long you’ve owned your home, but if you’ve had it since October 2019, you may qualify if you meet the other guidelines.
This program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence. To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year.
The base year is the first year for which you’re eligible.
To qualify for the 2022 benefit year, you must be 65 or older or receiving Social Security disability benefits on or before Dec. 31, 2021.
Homeowners must have owned and lived their homes since Dec. 31, 2018 or earlier, and they must still have owned and lived there on Dec. 31, 2022.
Mobile home owners must have leased a site in a mobile home park where they placed a manufactured or mobile home that they owned since Dec. 31, 2018 or earlier, and still lived in that home/leased the site on Dec. 31, 2022.
Homeowners must have paid 2021 property taxes due on their homes by June 1, 2022, and the 2022 property taxes must be paid by June 1, 2023.
For mobile home owners, site fees must have been paid by Dec. 31 of each year.
Then there are income limits. Your total annual income — combined if you were married or in a civil union and lived in the same home — must have been $94,178 or less in 2021 and $99,735 or less in 2022.
The state says it will begin mailing 2022 Senior Freeze “blue booklets” in mid-February, continuing throughout the month. It asks that you wait until mid-March for delivery before contacting them.
“We mail PTR-1 booklets to homeowners who may qualify and preprinted PTR-2 booklets to eligible homeowners who applied last year,” it said. “In addition, PTR-1 and some PTR-2 forms are available online.”
The deadline for 2022 applications is Oct. 31, 2023.
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This story was originally published on Feb. 23, 2023.
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