New Jersey seniors feel pinch from delay in homestead benefit

New Jersey's senior homeowners will have to wait

New Jersey's senior homeowners will have to wait for nine more months without the homestead benefit on their property taxes. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

TRENTON - New Jersey's senior homeowners will have to wait nine more months without the homestead benefit on their property taxes.

More than 1 million homeowners on a fixed income find cuts to that relief hard to stomach.

"This is really gonna mean hardship," says Jim Dieterle, of AARP New Jersey. "It's gonna mean either not seeing their grandkids or really just some kinds of quality-of-life issues."

The credits averaged $400 to $500, money that could have been spent on doctor bills or groceries.

Disabled homeowners and those making less than $75,000 a year also qualify and are missing the relief typically credited to their tax bill in August.

To cope with cash flow issues, Gov. Chris Christie pushed it to next May.

According to the Treasury Department, this will be the second homestead benefit delayed under Christie's administration. There is no word yet on what plans are for the next fiscal year. 

If the homestead benefit is made in May 2015, it will be almost two years since the last credit was paid to homeowners.

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