NJ seniors could work off part of property tax bill

 N.J. Sen. Diane Allen (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

N.J. Sen. Diane Allen (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Some New Jersey residents could be getting a tax break for helping their towns.

If a measure passed by the New Jersey Senate becomes law, residents 60 or older who have lived in their own home at least 15 years could volunteer at town offices in return for a $1,000 break on their property taxes.

Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington County) says many older residents have the time to volunteer but not the money to pay property taxes.

“I’ve had a lot of senior citizens come to my office and say I just can’t afford the taxes, I’m on a limited fixed income,” Allen said. “We already have the senior freeze but even those on the senior freeze say everything else is increasing in price.”

Allen believes the services the seniors would provide would offset the loss of local revenue from the tax break.

“Getting the expertise is going to be an amazing win for a municipality. It would be something that would have great value, long value, and it’s I think well worth it,” she said.

Sen. Nia Gill (D-Essex County) says getting the tax credit in exchange for their volunteer services would help older residents afford to stay in their town.

“We want people to be able to age in place near their children in community that they have given a lifetime of support and taxes to.”

Individual towns would determine the kinds of volunteer work that qualify for the credit. They would be barred from using volunteers to replace salaried positions.

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