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Should NJ Tax Relief Paperwork be Available in 11 Languages?

In New Jersey, forms for homestead property tax reimbursements, veterans’ property tax exemption, veterans’ property tax deduction and senior and disabled property tax deduction are available in English. Now, a trio of state lawmakers wants to add ten more languages.

Under a bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Gordon, the forms would also have to be made available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Korean. The Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) already offers the drivers’ license tests in all of those languages except Korean.

“New Jersey’s various property tax reimbursement programs are intended to provide a measure of financial relief to residents, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet,” said Gordon. “We have to make sure that everyone who is eligible receives their benefits. Making the applications more accessible to people of all communities will go a long way toward doing that and since we already have an existing process for providing forms in multiple languages, there is no reason we shouldn’t use that process to better ensure that eligible residents receive the benefits they are entitled to.”

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner and Assemblyman Tim Eustace said they will introduce an identical bill for consideration in the house of the legislature at the next Assembly quorum.

“The state’s property tax relief programs are critical to New Jersey residents, and making sure that all eligible residents have access to the tax-relief benefits that are offered has remained a top priority for us,” explained Wagner. “Providing tax documents in a variety of languages, under a process that is already used by the Motor Vehicle Commission, is another way to ensure that residents get the tax relief they deserve.”

If the bill passes both houses of the legislature and Gov. Chris Christie sings it into law, it would take effect January 1st following enactment.

“The programs offered to seniors and those with disabilities, to veterans and to other property tax payers provide much-needed financial relief, especially in these difficult economic times,” said Eustace. “Anything we can do to make the benefits more accessible, we should be doing.”

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