As happens every year, the June 1st deadline for submitting the 2009 PTR-1 and PTR-2 Property Tax Reimbursement (“Senior Freeze”) applications has been extended – this time to August 2, 2010.
In the past teach year he deadline has been extended eventually to October, and each year we expected that this would happen. This year I was a bit concerned because of the new governor and the fiscal mucking fess.
I worked away to get all my GD PTRs in the mail to clients by May 24th – and was successful – and hope not to see another PTR form this year. However I am pleased at the extension – as giving my clients only one week to get the application completed (which often required going to City Hall and getting a certification from the Tax Department) and in the mail was cutting it a bit close.
According to the press release - checks for senior and disabled homeowners who did submit applications by June 1st are “scheduled to be mailed on or about July 15, 2010”.
NJ Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff states that (highlight is mine) - “While new applicants will not receive benefits this year, they should apply to establish their eligibility for benefits in future years”.
The press release also says (again highlight mine) –
“Homestead rebate applications are not being distributed this summer and fall because of the shift to a payment via credits on property tax bills. Taxpayers will not begin receiving those credits until May 2011. Applications will be distributed nearer to the May 2011 deadline.”
These statements assume that Governor Christie’s proposed budget will be passed by the end of June - and do not reflect current law.
I will be pleased as punch if the rebate check is replaced by a credit against the actual property tax payment. Instead of paying $10,000 in property tax and getting a check for $600 after the fact a homeowner would actually pay to his township or municipality $9,400 in property taxes for the year. This is much “more better” – and will avoid possible federal income tax problems resulting from a refund received in one year for a payment deducted in full on Schedule A in the previous year.
The rebate check is a political trick. When a taxpayer gets a check in his/her hands he thinks he is getting something – and is expected to feel obligated to the political party that provided the check. This was the thinking behind Dubya’s two disastrous sets of rebate checks (which were often preceded by a letter from one’s Congressperson saying that a check was on its way). I seem to recall that initially the homestead rebate checks were mailed out on November 1st, so voters would received them just before election day and in gratitude run out and vote Democrat.
I certainly hope that the rebate check will be replaced with a direct credit. I liked the idea when Corzine first proposed it. However upon taking office Corzine discovered that he was not running the State of NJ – the Democratic Party machine was – and all he was expected to do (and actually did) was to bow to their wishes.