Menendez: Property Tax Payers Deserve Tax Relief

Menendez: Property Tax Payers Deserve Tax Relief

Newark - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today urged adoption of a bill he has introduced in the United States Senate to create a new property tax deduction for New Jersey homeowners and give meaningful tax relief to New Jerseyans suffering from high property tax bills. Menendezs legislation will allow homeowners who currently do not itemize on their Federal tax returns to take an additional standard deduction for the state and local property taxes they pay to support public education.

Menendez introduced the legislation last week, with Senator Max Baucus, the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over U.S. tax policy. Menendez is a member of the Senate Banking Committee and has been a consistent advocate of tax breaks and credits for middle class Americans.

"My legislation will provide direct relief to New Jerseyans suffering from high property tax bills," Menendez said. "New Jerseyans work hard to pay for their homes and provide for their families, and this bill will provide a meaningful federal response to a problem affecting far too many homeowners in our state."

Nationally, only two-thirds of property owners currently deduct their state and local property taxes on their Federal returns. The Non-Itemizer Real Property Tax Deduction Act (S. 3738) bill creates an additional standard deduction of $500 for single filers, and $1,000 on a jointly filed return for state and local real property taxes paid or accrued. Non-itemizers would be able to claim the deduction on top of the standard deduction. Nearly 55 percent of New Jerseyans do not itemize their tax returns.

The standard federal tax deduction is adjusted each year for inflation, but that adjustment does not take into account skyrocketing property values and tax increases. This additional standard deduction would be permanently available to Americans who owe real property taxes at the state and local level but do not itemize on their Federal returns. This new standard deduction would be particularly helpful to elderly homeowners who may no longer itemize to receive a mortgage interest deduction, but who are still subject to high property taxes.

The legislation was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, on which Baucus serves as Ranking Member.