SENATE, No. 2179
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED JUNE 12, 1997
By Senators CONNORS, DiFRANCESCO, Sinagra, Singer, Bark, Inverso, Kosco and McGreevey
An Act providing a homestead property tax reimbursement to certain eligible homeowners and supplementing chapter 4D of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
"Base year" means, in the case of a person who is an eligible claimant on or before November 1, 1996, the tax year 1996; and in the case of a person who first becomes an eligible claimant after November 1, 1996, the tax year in which the person first becomes an eligible claimant.
"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.
"Condominium" means the form of real property ownership provided for under the "Condominium Act," P.L.1969, c.257 (C.46:8B-1 et seq.).
"Cooperative" means a housing corporation or association which entitles the holder of a share or membership interest thereof to possess and occupy for dwelling purposes a house, apartment or other unit of housing owned or leased by the corporation or association, or to lease or purchase a unit of housing constructed or to be constructed by the corporation or association.
"Disabled person" means an individual receiving or having qualified to receive monetary payments pursuant to Title II of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §401 et seq.) on November 1, 1997, or on November 1 in all or any part of the year for which a homestead property tax reimbursement under this act is claimed.
"Dwelling house" means any residential property assessed as real property which consists of not more than four units, of which not more than one may be used for commercial purposes, but shall not include a unit in a condominium, cooperative, horizontal property regime or mutual housing corporation.
"Eligible claimant" means a person who:
is 65 or more years of age, or who is a disabled person;
is an owner of a homestead 1,or the lessee of a site in a mobile home park on which site the applicant owns a manufactured or mobile home1;
is qualified to receive PAAD benefits, or was qualified in the previous tax year to receive PAAD benefits but who is not so PAAD qualified in the current tax year; and
as a renter or homeowner, has made a long-term contribution to the fabric, social structure and finances of one or more communities in this State, as demonstrated through the payment of property taxes directly, or through rent, on any homestead or rental unit used as a principal residence in this State for at least 10 1consecutive1 years prior to the date that an application for a homestead property tax reimbursement is filed.
a dwelling house and the land on which that dwelling house is located which constitutes the place of the eligible claimant's domicile and is owned and used by the eligible claimant as the eligible claimant's principal residence;
1a site in a mobile home park equipped for the installation of manufactured or mobile homes, where these sites are under common ownership and control for the purpose of leasing each site to the owner of a manufactured or mobile home for the installation thereof and such site is used by the eligible claimant as the eligible claimant's principal residence;1
a dwelling house situated on land owned by a person other than the eligible claimant which constitutes the place of the eligible claimant's domicile and is owned and used by the eligible claimant as the eligible claimant's principal residence;
a condominium unit or a unit in a horizontal property regime or a continuing care retirement community which constitutes the place of the eligible claimant's domicile and is owned and used by the eligible claimant as the eligible claimant's principal residence.
In addition to the generally accepted meaning of "owned" or "ownership," a homestead shall be deemed to be owned by a person if that person is a tenant for life or a tenant under a lease for 99 years or more, is entitled to and actually takes possession of the homestead under an executory contract for the sale thereof or under an agreement with a lending institution which holds title as security for a loan, or is a resident of a continuing care retirement community pursuant to a contract for continuing care for the life of that person which requires the resident to bear, separately from any other charges, the proportionate share of property taxes attributable to the unit that the resident occupies;
a unit in a cooperative or mutual housing corporation which constitutes the place of domicile of a residential shareholder or lessee therein, or of a lessee or shareholder who is not a residential shareholder therein, which is used by the eligible claimant as the eligible claimant's principal residence.
"Homestead property tax reimbursement" means payment of the difference between the amount of property tax 1or site fee constituting property tax1 paid or payable in any year on any homestead, exclusive of improvements not included in the assessment on the real property for the base year, and the amount of property tax 1or site fee constituting property tax1 paid in the base year, 1or, for eligible claimants who have paid property tax for only a portion of the base year, the annualized amount otherwise payable,1 when the amount paid in the base year 1or the annualized amount1 is the lower amount; but such calculations shall exclude current year property tax reductions 1or reductions in site fees constituting property taxes1 resulting from judgments entered by county boards of taxation or the State Tax Court.
"Horizontal property regime" means the form of real property ownership provided for under the "Horizontal Property Act," P.L.1963, c.168 (C.46:8A-1 et seq.).
1"Manufactured home" or "mobile home" means a unit of housing which:
(1) Consists of one or more transportable sections which are substantially constructed off site and, if more than one section, are joined together on site;
(2) Is built on a permanent chassis;
(3) Is designed to be used, when connected to utilities, as a dwelling on a permanent or nonpermanent foundation; and
(4) Is manufactured in accordance with the standards promulgated for a manufactured home by the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to the "National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974," Pub.L. 93-383 (42 U.S.C. s. 5401 et seq.) and the standards promulgated for a manufactured or mobile home by the commissioner pursuant to the "State Uniform Construction Code Act," P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.).
"Mobile home park" means a parcel of land, or two or more parcels of land, containing no fewer than 10 sites equipped for the installation of manufactured or mobile homes, where these sites are under common ownership and control for the purpose of leasing each site to the owner of a manufactured or mobile home for the installation thereof, and where the owner or owners provide services, which are provided by the municipality in which the park is located for property owners outside the park, which services may include but shall not be limited to:
(1) The construction and maintenance of streets;
(2) Lighting of streets and other common areas;
(3) Garbage removal;
(4) Snow removal; and
(5) Provisions for the drainage of surface water from home sites and common areas.1
"Mutual housing corporation" means a corporation not-for-profit, incorporated under the laws of this State on a mutual or cooperative basis within the scope of section 607 of the Langham Act (National Defense Housing), Pub.L.849, (42 U.S.C. §1521 et seq.), as amended, which acquired a National Defense Housing Project pursuant to that act.
"PAAD benefits" mean payment of pharmaceutical benefits received pursuant to the "Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled" program, P.L.1975, c.194 (C.30:4D-20 et seq.).
"Principal residence" means a homestead actually and continually occupied by an eligible claimant as his or her permanent residence, as distinguished from a vacation home, property owned and rented or offered for rent by the claimant, and other secondary real property holdings.
"Property tax" means the general property tax paid or payable as set forth in this section, on a homestead, but does not include special assessments and interest and penalties for delinquent taxes.
1"Site fee constituting property tax" means 18 percent of the annual site fee paid or payable to the owner of a mobile home park.1
"Tax year" means the calendar year in which a homestead is assessed and the property tax is levied thereon.
2. Every eligible claimant shall be entitled, beginning with reimbursement for the property tax year 1997 and annually thereafter, on proper claim being made therefor to the commissioner, to a homestead property tax reimbursement. An eligible claimant granted a homestead property tax reimbursement under P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) may receive in addition to a homestead property tax reimbursement any other property tax rebate, credit or tax deduction provided by any other law. The surviving spouse of a deceased resident of this State who during his or her life received a homestead property tax reimbursement pursuant to P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be entitled, so long as he or she remains a resident in the same homestead with respect to which the homestead property tax reimbursement was granted, and so long as he or she remains eligible for PAAD benefits, to the same homestead property tax reimbursement, upon the same conditions, with respect to the same homestead.
3. An application for a homestead property tax reimbursement hereunder shall be filed with the commissioner on or before December 31, 1997 and on or before December 31 annually thereafter and shall reflect the prerequisites for a homestead property tax reimbursement on November 1 of the year of filing; provided, however, that the commissioner may, by rule, waive the requirement for filing an annual application for any year or years subject to any limitations and conditions the commissioner may deem appropriate. The application shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner and provided for the use of applicants hereunder. Each applicant making a claim for a homestead property tax reimbursement under this act shall provide to the commissioner a copy of his or her current year property tax bill 1or current year site fee bill1 on the homestead constituting that person’s principal residence and a copy of his or her property tax bill for the base year 1or site fee bill for the base year1 on the same homestead, or other equivalent proof as permitted by the commissioner.
It shall be the duty of every eligible claimant to inform the commissioner of any change in his or her status or homestead which may affect his or her right to continuance of the homestead property tax reimbursement.
4. The commissioner shall administer the homestead property tax reimbursement program. A payment for the homestead property tax reimbursement amount, as calculated by the commissioner, shall be mailed to each person determined by the commissioner to be an eligible claimant under this act on or before July 15, 1998 and July 15 annually thereafter. All payments made pursuant to this section shall be appropriated from receipts 1[generated solely from the Casino Revenue Fund. If receipts]1 in the Casino Revenue Fund 1[are insufficient in any year to pay the total cost of the homestead property tax reimbursement claims, then reimbursements shall be paid on a pro rata basis for that year and no part of an unpaid claim for a homestead property tax reimbursement shall be carried into a subsequent year]1.
5. When title to a homestead as to which a homestead property tax reimbursement is claimed is held by an eligible claimant and another or others, either as tenants in common or as joint tenants, the eligible claimant shall not be allowed a homestead property tax reimbursement in an amount in excess of his or her proportionate share of the taxes assessed against the homestead, which proportionate share, for the purposes of this act, shall be deemed to be equal to that of each of the other tenants, unless it is shown that the interests in question are not equal, in which event the eligible claimant's proportionate share shall be as shown. Nothing herein shall preclude more than one tenant, whether title be held in common or joint tenancy, from claiming a homestead property tax reimbursement from the taxes assessed against the property so held, but no more than the equivalent of one full homestead property tax reimbursement in regard to such homestead shall be allowed in any year. In any case in which the eligible claimants cannot agree as to the apportionment thereof, such homestead property tax reimbursement shall be apportioned between or among them in proportion to their interest. Property held by husband and wife, as tenants by the entirety, shall be deemed wholly owned by each tenant, but no more than one full homestead property tax reimbursement in regard to such homestead shall be allowed in any year. Right to claim a homestead property tax reimbursement hereunder shall extend to a homestead the title to which is held by a partnership, to the extent of the eligible claimant's interest as a partner therein, and by a guardian, trustee, committee, conservator or other fiduciary for any person who would otherwise be entitled to claim such homestead property tax reimbursement hereunder, but not to a homestead the title to which is held by a corporation; except that a residential shareholder in a cooperative or mutual housing corporation shall be entitled to claim a homestead property tax reimbursement if he or she is otherwise eligible to receive it, to the extent of the proportionate share of the taxes assessed against the homestead of the corporation, or any other entity holding title, attributable to his or her unit therein. No eligible claimant shall be entitled to payment under this act for a homestead property tax reimbursement on more than one homestead within the State in the same tax year.
6. A municipality may apply to the State Treasurer, for any costs incurred by the municipality in connection with the administration of this act in accordance with such procedures as shall be determined by the State Treasurer.
7. Pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations and prescribe such forms as the commissioner shall deem necessary to implement this act. The commissioner shall also promulgate rules and regulations to implement an appeals process for aggrieved persons to use if eligibility for a homestead property tax reimbursement rebate is denied.
8. This act shall take effect immediately.
Provides homestead property tax reimbursement to certain PAAD-qualified senior and disabled homeowners.