If you're aging, disabled, and collect retirement benefits, you have the basic qualifications for New Jersey's senior freeze property tax rebate program. Except, that is, if you're retired from a federal job and don't tap into Social Security. Shore Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-30) hopes to bring those individuals in from the cold.

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The Ocean County Republican's measure would extend senior-freeze eligibility to former federal employees who are ineligible by virtue of their funding source. Those hired before January 1, 1984, paid into a federal retirement system separate from Social Security. New Jersey laws apply to Social Security beneficiaries.

"Just because these residents receive retirement benefits from a system other than Social Security, that should not preclude them from receiving property tax relief," Dancer said in prepared remarks.

"People with disabilities face challenges most of us cannot comprehend. New Jersey's highest in the nation property taxes shouldn't be yet another challenge they face. Closing this loophole will give them the same tax relief that's available to other disabled individuals."

Dancer introduced A-4130 September 19. It is under discussion in the lower house State and Local Government Committee.

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