A bill sponsored by Monmouth County Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey that would allow installment payments for seniors and disabled property taxpayers who are indebted to the state due to the overpayment of homestead credits cleared the New Jersey General Assembly Thursday. The measure received bipartisan support and was approved with a vote of 72-0.
“When residents find themselves owing a debt to the State of New Jersey, paying the debt all at once can be devastating,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling (D-Monmouth), “This measure will let senior and disabled residents set up personalized payment plans, which can make all the difference for those living on a fixed income.”
The bill (A1953) would amend current law to allow senior residents over the age of 65 and disabled residents to make installment payments to repay amounts overpaid by the state for homestead credits and homestead property tax reimbursement. Under current law, any person who fails to return overpayment of homestead rebates within 45 days is subject to additional charges for interest, which can further devastate homeowners who cannot afford to pay the debt due to a fixed income. This newly-passed legislation would enable senior and disabled taxpayers to establish an installment payment agreement with the Director of the Division of Taxation for a “reasonable period of time” to repay the debt.
“No one should have to suffer financially for a mistake made by the state, which is exactly what this bill will help guard against,” added Assemblywoman Downey (D-Monmouth), “It’s unreasonable to ask senior taxpayers to raid their savings and compromise their quality of life. Installment payments are a common sense compromise.”
The measure will now move to the State Senate for further consideration.