There is still time to get a $250 property tax deduction for 2016 if you are a veteran who served during a war or "peace-keeping mission" or a senior citizen 65 years of age or older in New Jersey. If you are both and you meet the qualifications, you can get a $500 deduction for 2016 and every year thereafter.
You must own a property where you reside in the state by October 1, 2016 to qualify for the deduction and, according to Middle Township Tax Assessor Lee Ann Russ, you can file your application up until December 1, 2016 and get the deduction for this year. The date by which you can apply may vary from one municipality to another, so it's a good idea to check with the tax assessor where you live.
All of the information you'll need to qualify is on the back of the applications for veterans and seniors. The documentation required usually includes a copy of your driver's license, photo ID or income tax form that indicates you are a New Jersey resident and an invoice that shows you are a property owner. For veterans, a copy of your DD214 or the equivalent is required, along wih a driver's license and, if appropriate, a letter from the VA indicating 100% disability status. There is a limit on the amount of annual income for seniors to qualify, but there are other factors involved in determining that amount, so it's important to read the application carefully.
If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran or senior citizen who would meet those qualifications you are entitled to the property tax deduction. That also holds true for a civil union or domestic partner of a veteran or senior citizen.
If you are the surviving spouse of a veteran who died while on active duty and he or she lived in that residence — or you are a veteran with a 100% service-related disability — you are exempt from paying any taxes on the property where you reside in New Jersey.
Beau Weisman, Editor