Assemblyman SCOTT T. RUMANA
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Assemblyman KEVIN J. ROONEY
District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)
Requires State to award certain property tax credits as rebates
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning property tax rebates and amending various sections of statutory law.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 7 of P.L.1990, c.63 (C.54:4-8.63) is amended to read as follows:
7. a. The State Treasurer annually on or before October 31, upon certification of the director and upon warrant of the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting, shall pay and distribute the amount of a homestead rebate payable under this act that is claimed for the prior tax year to each claimant whose rebate is approved by the director.
b. A homestead credit allowed by the Director of the Division of Taxation to a claimant who claimed a homestead credit pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1990, c.61 (C.54:4-8.59), and whose homestead is not a unit in a cooperative, mutual housing corporation or continuing care retirement community, shall be paid by the State Treasurer, through electronic funds transfer made by the director to the [local property tax account maintained by the local tax collector for the homestead of the claimant] claimant’s account held by a financial institution as the claimant shall identify, or by the issuance of a prepaid debit card directly to the taxpayer, if requested by the taxpayer, in equal installments after the application for the credit has been approved, at the dates and in the manner as the director shall determine to best coincide with the next local property tax quarterly due dates of August 1 and November 1. Notice of payments of credit installments shall be provided to the claimant and the appropriate local tax collector. Notice of credits awarded to a taxpayer shall be reflected on each property tax bill, which shall indicate the specific amount of each credit and the scheduled date of payment to the taxpayer.
c. Notwithstanding subsection b. of this section, the director shall provide a homestead benefit under this act as a credit only if the director can ensure that the benefit will be [applied] distributed to the appropriate taxpayer. [Otherwise, the director may remit a homestead benefit to an eligible taxpayer as a rebate.
d. Notwithstanding subsection b. of this section, a resident homeowner of this State who is 65 years of age or older at the close of the tax year or who is allowed to claim a personal deduction as a blind or disabled taxpayer pursuant to subsection (b) of N.J.S.54A:3-1, shall receive the credit in the form of a rebate payment in calendar year 2007, but will receive credits in future years starting in calendar year 2008, unless the claimant elects in the claimant's homestead credit application to receive a rebate.
e. Notwithstanding subsection b. of this section, if the director determines that homestead benefits for a particular tax year cannot be administered and delivered as credits efficiently, the director may remit homestead benefits for that year as rebates.]
(cf: P.L.2007, c.62, s.25)
2. Section 4 of P.L.1997, c.348 (C.54:4-8.71) is amended to read as follows:
4. The director shall administer the homestead property tax reimbursement program and establish a system for distributing the homestead property tax reimbursement as an electric funds transfer for direct deposit into a recipient’s account held by a financial institution. A payment for the homestead property tax reimbursement amount, as calculated by the director, shall be [mailed] delivered via an electric fund transfer for direct deposit to each person determined by the director to be an eligible claimant under this act on or before July 15, 1999 and July 15 annually thereafter, except that the payment of any homestead property tax reimbursement amount for an eligible claimant whose application is filed during the period May 1 through June 1 shall be [mailed] delivered via an electric fund transfer for direct deposit on or before September 1 annually. The payment shall be mailed if the eligible claimant has not registered valid bank account information with the director. Provided further, however, that the payment of any homestead property tax reimbursement amount for an eligible claimant whose application is filed during a period after June 1 pursuant to an extended application deadline as may be designated by the director shall be delivered or mailed , as appropriate, on or before such latter mailing date as the director may determine. All payments made pursuant to this section shall be appropriated from receipts in the Casino Revenue Fund.
(cf: P.L.2003, c.30, s.2)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill requires that homestead property tax credits and reimbursements awarded pursuant to P.L.1997, c.348 and P.L.1990, c.63 be distributed as rebates directly into a taxpayer’s bank account, or distributed via prepaid debit cards directly to taxpayers. The amount of a credit awarded would be reflected on the tax bill, along with an anticipated date of payment. Taxpayers who sell property before a credit has been awarded by the State often lose out on the benefit of the credit once they no longer live in the home. This bill would provide that the applicant for the credit or reimbursement is paid a rebate directly via direct deposit into an account held by a financial institution.