New Jersey residents may be aware of the Property Tax Reimbursement Program, also known as the “Senior Freeze” program: a state program that reimburses eligible senior citizens for property tax increases on their primary residence. Once a household applies for the “Senior Freeze,” their future property taxes are “frozen” at their current level for all future years in which they meet the requirements.
Normally, this “freeze” works by issuing annual reimbursements to program participants, paying back the difference between their “frozen” property tax level and the increased amount they actually paid. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus and the pending state budget, there may be some changes to the program’s funding this year, reducing or eliminating the reimbursement amount for 2020 only. Senator Gopal, Assemblyman Houghtaling, and Assemblywoman Downey are fighting for full funding of this critical program, and will share updates on their ongoing progress as they become available.
In the meantime, residents can still apply to “freeze” their property taxes at their current level, rather than waiting another year and allowing your taxes to increase in 2021. Applicants might not receive a reimbursement for this year’s Senior Freeze, but accepted applicants will pay less in taxes next year, and for all subsequent years that they qualify. While Gopal, Houghtaling, and Downey fight to fund this program, they want to make sure every eligible person in our district can set their new frozen “base year” without delays or complications.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements to qualify for the Senior Freeze:
- You or your spouse/civil union partner were 65 or older on December 31, 2018 or were receiving federal Social Security disability benefit payments on or before December 31, 2018
- You have lived in New Jersey continuously since December 31, 2008, or earlier, as either a homeowner or a renter.
- You owned and lived in your home since December 31, 2015, or earlier (and you still owned and lived in that home on December 31, 2019).
- The 2018 property taxes due on your home must have been paid by June 1, 2019, and the 2019 property taxes must be paid by June 1, 2020.
Mobile Home Owners Only:
- You leased a site in a mobile home park where you placed a manufactured or mobile home that you owned since December 31, 2015, or earlier (and still lived in that home/leased the site on December 31, 2019).
- Your site fees must have been paid by December 31 of each year respectively.
Additionally, applicants must meet the following income limits:
Your total annual income (combined if you were married or in a civil union and lived in the same home) was:
- 2018 – $89,013 or less; and
- 2019 – $91,505 or less
Any resident who would like to receive an application for the Senior Freeze can contact the legislative office of Gopal, Houghtaling, and Downey at (732) 695-3371 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide a mailing address where they can be sent a Senior Freeze packet. District 11 residents can also call or email the office to request an appointment with a staff member, who can help walk applicants through the steps of completing the application. The deadline to apply is November 2, 2020.