|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
CONTACTS: Micah Rasmussen
James E. McGreevey
July 15, 2004
Property Tax Reimbursement Checks on the Way
- Governor James E. McGreevey and Treasurer John E. McCormac announced
that the Division of Taxation began mailing the 2003 Senior Property
Tax Freeze checks today. The Division has until September 1 to issue
reimbursement checks for applicants who filed before the June 1,
2004, original deadline for filing a 2003 application. Checks for
applications filed between June 1 and the extended filing deadline
of August 2, 2004, will be issued as quickly as possible.
“ The property tax freeze program delivers substantial relief to insulate senior and disabled citizens on fixed incomes from rising property tax bills,” said Governor McGreevey. “Through our sound investments and fiscal policies, we succeeded in fully re-opening the program this year so that everyone who is eligible can participate. We have also extended the filing deadline to August 2 to help ensure that all participants get the chance to submit an application.”
Under the Senior Freeze (formally known as the Property Tax Reimbursement Program), eligible applicants 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.
Treasurer John McCormac noted that funding for the Senior Freeze program went from $23 million last year to $68 million this year. “By nearly tripling the funding for this most important program, we ensure that all eligible and approved filers receive a benefit,” McCormac said. With the added funding, the budget provides resources to issue checks to repeat PTR filers, as well as filers who are new to the program this year. Today’s PTR mailing will include approximately 81,000 checks, averaging $415, to filers who submitted applications before the original June 1 original deadline. Several thousand additional checks will be issued as more recent applications are processed.
Each year, the Division of Taxation receives numerous PTR applications for which a reimbursement cannot be issued 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.”
After 25 years of a growing property tax crisis, Governor McGreevey is now taking on the challenge of bringing fairness back to tax system. With the recent enactment of the FAIR, the Governor has taken a three-pronged approach to property tax relief and reform. The FAIR plan includes higher rebates for 1.7 million working families and senior citizens, funded by a new "millionaire's tax."; freezes local government spending at 2.5 percent or the cost of living, whichever is greater; and establishes of a task force to plan for a constitutional convention that addresses long-term property tax reform.
Applicants with questions or who want to check the status of their reimbursement checks may call the PTR Hotline at 1-800-882-6597. Information about the Program is also available on the Division of Taxation’s Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/propfrez.htm.
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, http://www.nj.gov/.