Senior citizens in New Jersey who perform voluntary services for their municipality could get a property tax credit of up to $1,000 annually under a new bill (A-4067) introduced by Assemblyman Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus).

(Creatas Images, ThinkStock)
(Creatas Images, ThinkStock)

The legislation as currently drafted would apply only to those age 60 and older who have owned and lived in a home in the town for at least 15 years. However, Lagana said he hopes there would be a trickle down effect that would lead to property tax relief for everyone.

"Everyone could get a break because it's less money the town would have to spend hiring more people," Lagana said. "We're looking to give people tax incentives to stay in New Jersey so they don't leave."

The assemblyman is also sponsoring legislation to revise the state's tax structure. The bill would provide property tax reform, cut government spending and improve efficiency, consolidate local government and promote shared services and provide middle-class property tax relief. Lagana said his latest bill could lead to bigger things in the future.

"If it were a successful law and towns were reaching out and saying, 'Hey, can we expand this,' then that would be a great thing. It's a tax incentive that will help everyone just like a tax incentive to a corporation will help everyone too," Lagana said.

If the measure were to become law, towns would decide the type of volunteer services and the amount of property tax credits. The credits earned would not carry over from year to year and credits earned in a tax year must be applied to property taxes due for that year only.

Volunteers could not be used to replace a salaried employee.

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