ASSEMBLY, No. 612

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOSEPH A. LAGANA

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  TROY SINGLETON

District 7 (Burlington)

Assemblyman  PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  ERIC HOUGHTALING

District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblywoman  ANGELA V. MCKNIGHT

District 31 (Hudson)

Assemblyman  RAJ MUKHERJI

District 33 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Muoio, Lampitt, Downey, Assemblyman Conaway and Assemblywoman Mosquera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     The “Municipal Volunteer Property Tax Reduction Act”; permits certain municipal property owners to perform volunteer services in return for property tax vouchers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee with technical review.

  


An Act concerning property tax relief for certain municipal residents and supplementing chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Municipal Volunteer Property Tax Reduction Act."

 

     2.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     Property taxes remain one of the highest single expenses for State residents and are especially burdensome for seniors on fixed incomes.

     It is in the public interest to utilize the talents and skills of senior citizen State residents by permitting them to volunteer their services to their municipal government.

     It is likely that the State’s senior population would be motivated to volunteer their time with their municipality if, in return, their property tax liability could be reduced.

     Therefore, the State should permit municipalities to establish programs in which a senior citizen can volunteer time and services to their municipality of residence in exchange for a credit against municipal purposes property taxes due and owing on their primary residence.

 

     3.    a.  A municipality, by resolution, may create a “Municipal Volunteer Property Tax Reduction Program,” permitting municipal residents, age 60 years or older, who have owned and lived in a home in the municipality as their primary residence for not less than 15 years in the aggregate, to volunteer their services to the municipality in ways determined by the municipality, in exchange for property tax credits, not to exceed $1,000 per tax year.  Under this program, a municipality shall determine the type of volunteer services that these residents may perform, and the amount of property tax credits, up to $1,000 per tax year, that a volunteer shall be awarded for his or her service.  The amount of property tax credit awarded per hour of volunteer work shall be the State minimum hourly wage rate as set by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development pursuant to the requirements of Article I, paragraph 23 of the New Jersey Constitution.  Property tax credits earned under this program shall not carry over from year to year; credits earned in a tax year shall be applied to the municipal purposes property taxes due and owing only for that tax year

     b.    A volunteer who participates in this program and who earns property tax credits from the municipality shall be awarded a voucher by the municipality which shall be used by the volunteer solely and exclusively to offset the property taxes for municipal purposes due and owing on the volunteer’s primary residence in the municipality.  The voucher shall otherwise have no value and shall not be transferrable.  A voucher shall not be applied toward property taxes which become payable in a year succeeding the year in which the voucher is earned.

     c.     For the purposes of this section, "property taxes for municipal purposes" means taxes duly assessed against the property for municipal purposes only, including any amounts due representing interest or penalties, and any amounts for which redemption payments may be made pursuant to Title 54 of the Revised Statutes , and the value of property tax credits awarded under the program shall not be considered as part of the general property tax due and paid for the purposes of the homestead property tax reimbursement program established pursuant to P.L.1997, c.348 (C.54:4-8.67 et seq.).

 

     4.    A municipality that creates a volunteer program pursuant to section 3 of P.L.      , c.       (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall not utilize volunteers for any position for which a salary is budgeted in the municipal budget.  Volunteers shall only be utilized by a municipality for non-professional, non-salaried positions or uses.

 

     5.    A municipality that creates a “Municipal Volunteer Property Tax Reduction Program” pursuant to section 3 of P.L.   , c.    (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall advise the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs of the creation of the program, on a form promulgated for that purpose by the director not later than the third business day next following the adoption of the resolution creating the program.  If the municipality is under State supervision pursuant to the provisions of Article Four of the “Local Government Supervision Act (1947),” P.L.1947, c.151 (C.52:27BB-54 et seq.), or the provisions of the “Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act,” P.L.2002, c.43 (C.52:27BBB-1 et seq.), or is otherwise subject to a memorandum of understanding or similar agreement with the division as a condition of receiving supplemental State aid, the resolution shall not be effective unless it is approved by the director.

 

     6.    The Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, pursuant to the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall promulgate any rules or regulations that may be necessary to implement the provisions of P.L.   , c.     (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to the contrary, any such regulations shall be effective immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law and shall be effective for a period not to exceed 365 days, and may thereafter be amended, adopted, or readopted, by the director in accordance with the requirements of P.L.1968, c.410.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following enactment, except that section 6 shall take effect  immediately.