TRENTON, NJ – The state Assembly on Thursday passed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman, (D-16th) that would permit taxpayers to make dedicated prepayment toward anticipated property taxes and concerning federal tax changes to prepayment guidelines.

“New Jersey homeowners who took what they considered the necessary step of prepaying their property taxes before the end of 2017 to counter the adverse federal tax changes should not be punished,” said Freiman. “These federal tax changes are bad enough. The state must be flexible and find ways to assist New Jersey homeowners being unfairly and directly impacted, and this is a common sense step that can help.”

The bill is co-sponsored by fellow Democrats Joann Downey and Vince Mazzeo.

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Freiman, a Hillsborough resident, recently introduced five bills addressing recent federal tax changes that no longer allow residents who prepaid their taxes last year to claim them on their tax return.

The Assembly passed three of those measures during the afternoon session:

·         (A-3382), sponsored by Freiman, Downey, and Mazzeo, would permit taxpayers to make dedicated prepayment toward anticipated property taxes, (70-1);

·         (ACR-145) –sponsored by Assemblyman Freiman-- urges Congress to take swift action to protect New Jersey taxpayers from recently enacted federal tax legislation (63-5-4);

·         (AR-117) –sponsored by Assembly members Freiman, Downey and Mazzeo-- urges Congress to address the accounting of mortgage escrow prepayments through requirements on federally-chartered financial institutions (71-1).

“Federal tax changes can already cause a lot of confusion for residents getting documents ready to file,” said Downey said. “Homeowners who have prepaid their property taxes should receive credit under the year they paid. The new federal changes take advantage of responsible homeowners and they do not give credit where credit is due.”

“In states like New Jersey where residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the effort to prepay your property taxes should never go unacknowledged at tax time,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “By not allowing these prepayments to be included, the new federal tax changes disproportionately affect responsible homeowners for simply paying their property taxes in advance.”

            The Assembly State and Local Committee released each measure on February 12. The bills will now go to the Senate for further consideration.