ANGELA DELLI SANTI
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) â¿¿ Democrats who lead the New Jersey Assembly have introduced legislation that would provide sales tax rebates to property owners and small businesses repairing damage from Superstorm Sandy.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Majority Leader Lou Greenwald introduced the bill Monday to provide sales tax rebates on supplies and services bought between Oct. 30, 2012, and Jan. 1, 2014.
"Our top goal as we move toward recovery must be on finding ways to help New Jerseyans affected by Sandy, and this rebate would be much-needed assistance for individuals and small business owners alike as they look to rebuild," said Oliver, who represents portions of Essex and Passaic counties. "This will help move our recovery forward, and any savings will undoubtedly prove beneficial to those affected."
The legislators said a similar rebate bill became law after Tropical Storm Floyd in 1999. It's not known how much sales tax revenue the state would stand to lose.
But Greenwald, who represents portions of Camden and Burlington counties, said a sales tax relief program would spark economic activity in areas most heavily damaged by the superstorm.
The measure would allow for sales tax rebates with receipts on construction materials, carpeting, appliances, vehicles, contracting services and more.
For homeowners, rebates would be offered only on goods and services for primary residences.
To receive the benefit, storm victims affected and contractors making purchases on behalf of storm victims would have to pay the applicable tax at the point of purchase, then file a rebate claim with the Department of the Treasury.
The bill would require the director to return the rebate within six months of the date the claim is filed. The bill also would require the director to pay interest on rebates not returned to storm victims within that frame of time.