Department of the Treasury

Governor James E. McGreevey
May 27, 2004

CONTACT:  Micah Rasmussen
Property Tax Reimbursement Filing Deadline Extended

 TRENTON -- Governor James E. McGreevey and Division of Taxation Director Robert K. Thompson announced today that they have extended the due date for filing 2003 Property Tax Reimbursement (“Senior Property Tax Freeze”) Applications, from June 1, 2004 to August 2, 2004.

 “ Our tough fiscal decisions and sound economic policies have made it possible to re-open the Senior Freeze program and make close to 100,000 additional taxpayers eligible for a reimbursement check this year,” said Governor McGreevey. “In order to ensure that our senior and disabled citizens can take full advantage of the positive changes we’ve proposed for the program, we have an additional change to offer – an extension of the filing deadline.”

 Under the Property Tax Reimbursement Program, eligible senior citizens and disabled persons are reimbursed by the State for the difference between the amount of local property taxes paid in the “base year” (the year they became eligible and first filed for the program) and the amount of property taxes paid for the reimbursement year. Income eligibility thresholds increased this year from $39,475 to $40,028 for single applicants and from $48,404 to $49,082 for married applicants. Filers must continue to meet all eligibility requirements and must file an application each year to receive the reimbursement.

 Treasurer John McCormac noted that as originally proposed in February, the Governor’s FY 2005 Budget more than doubled the funding for the Senior Freeze program -- to $48 million -- providing 130,000 participants with a check this July, including about 50,000 who filed last year but did not receive a check because the program was suspended for new filers. Last week, Governor McGreevey and Treasurer McCormac announced that an additional $20 million was available for the program in FY 2005, which fully opens it and makes it possible for an estimated 45,000 who enroll in the program this year to collect their first Senior Freeze check this summer, rather than waiting until July 2005. “Our changes bring Senior Freeze funding to approximately $68 million and ensure that all eligible and approved filers get a check this summer,” McCormac said.

 The 2003 reimbursement checks are scheduled to be mailed on or before July 15, 2004. Because of the time needed for processing applications, checks for eligible applicants who file after the original June 1, 2004, deadline will not be part of this general mid-July mailing. Checks for applicants who file between June 1st and August 2nd will be issued as quickly as possible.

 Each year, the Division of Taxation receives numerous PTR applications which are incomplete because required information or necessary documentation was omitted. Applicants who filed incomplete applications will receive information on how to correct the problem, according to Taxation Director Robert K. Thompson. “The Division will be sending notices requesting the required information from these applicants. The sooner they return the requested information to us, the sooner we can send them the benefits for which they are eligible. For the clean applications we receive, Taxation can generally process and issue a reimbursement check within three or four weeks. ”

 After 25 years of a growing property tax crisis, Governor McGreevey is now taking on the challenge of bringing fairness back to tax system. Last month, in a joint session of the New Jersey State Legislature, McGreevey unveiled his three-pronged FAIR plan, which provides immediate property tax relief, requests a freeze on government spending, and calls for a blueprint for lasting, long-term property tax reform.

 Governor McGreevey’s FAIR plan calls for a 2.6 percent “millionaire’s tax” which will only affect those New Jerseyans with an income of $500,000 or more. Under this tax, a family earning $550,000 would still get to keep $18,154 of its $19,000 President Bush tax cut. The family would only lose $825, or less than 5 percent of its total windfall. And yet, this “millionaire’s tax” will raise an additional $800 million – which will be used to provide direct property tax relief for New Jersey’s working families and senior citizens. Ninety-three percent of the State’s property taxpayers will receive a larger property tax relief check.

 By doubling the direct property tax relief from $670 million to $1.5 billion:

The maximum Homestead Rebate check for New Jersey’s senior citizens will increase by 50 percent, from $775 to $1200.
About 1.17 million homeowners with incomes below $125,000 will receive a rebate with a new maximum of $800.

 For more information on the extended filing of the 2003 Property Tax Reimbursement, or to obtain an application, contact the Property Tax Reimbursement Hotline at 1-800-882-6597. Information about the Program is also available on the Division of Taxation’s Web site at

Photos and audio and video clips from Governor McGreevey’s press conferences are available
in the Office of the Governor section on the State of New Jersey web page,

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