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Can I qualify for the Homestead Rebate if a trust owns my condo?

Q. I live in a condo that my kids paid for and put in a trust. I’m a senior and I live on $881 per month. I pay all the taxes, sewer fees, and homeowners fees in my name even though the tax bill is addressed to the trust. Because I pay all the expenses, am I entitled to the Homestead Rebate?

— Senior

A. New Jersey has some of the highest property tax costs in the nation.

To help seniors with the high costs, the state offers the Homestead Rebate to those who qualify.

To qualify, you must be a New Jersey resident, you must own and occupy the property as a principal residence and you must meet income requirements, said Bernie Kiely, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant with Kiely Capital Management in Morristown.

You must have income of $150,000 or less for homeowners who are age 65 or older or blind or disabled, or $75,000 or less for homeowners under age 65 and not blind or disabled, Kiely said.

“Unfortunately for you, you are not eligible for the Homestead Rebate program because you do not own your condo. Your kids own it through the trust,” Kiely said. “They are not eligible for the program either because they are not living in the condo.”

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Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for’s weekly e-newsletter.

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