New Jersey lawmakers are considering a way of offering older residents the opportunity to reduce their property taxes.
The legislation would allow towns to give a tax credit of up to $1,000 a year to residents 60 and older who perform volunteer work for their local government.
The plan is modeled after a program in Lenox, Massachusetts, where she used to live, said Montclair resident Penny Carey.
“It’s intended to allow the town to get the benefit of all of the skills that their retired seniors have as well as to allow the seniors to with dignity work off part of their tax bill,” she said.
That , said Assemblyman Joe Lagana, will help ease the tax burden on older residents.
“A lot of times, it’s the seniors who are having the most difficult time because of what’s happened with the senior tax freeze, with cuts to that,” said Lagana, D-Bergen. “The homestead rebates are now being distributed from 2012. So they’re feeling the effects of budget cuts. This is just another way where the government can help.”
Sen. Nia Gill says the measure would help enable older residents to stay in the communities where they’ve lived all their lives.
“We owe it to our residents to ensure that they are able to live out their golden years as they prefer. To do that we have to make sure that our communities are affordable for seniors,” said Gill, D-Essex.
The volunteers would be ineligible for any position that’s included in the municipal budget.
The tax credit would be restricted to residents who’ve lived in their home at least 15 years.