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  • NJ A217
  • Allows gross income tax deductions for contributions by certain taxpayers to New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust (NJBEST) Program and provides a State match for contributions to NJBEST accounts for families meeting certain income guidelines.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill allows a gross income tax deduction for amounts contributed to the New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust (NJBEST) Program for taxpayers with gross incomes of not more than $500,000. The bill allows a gross income tax deduction of up to $10,000 annually for married couples filing jointly, or $5,000 annually for other taxpayers, for contributions to one or more NJBEST accounts. The bill also requires the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, which administers NJBEST, to establish and implement the Aspiring Scholars Matching Grant Program. Under the program a matching grant will be provided by the State for the qualified higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. The amount of the matching grant will equal the amount of contributions made into an account for a designated beneficiary, up to the limit of $500 per calendar year for up to a maximum of five years. To be eligible for a matching grant the following criteria must be met: (1) the contributor, if an individual, and the designated beneficiary must be New Jersey residents; and (2) the annual family income of the designated beneficiary in the year prior to applying for a matching grant may not exceed $70,000. NJBEST is New Jersey's federal Internal Revenue Code Section 529 qualified college savings program. Federal tax law allows contributions of federally taxed income to accounts established for the beneficiaries' qualified higher education expenses. Account investment earnings are not federally taxed until withdrawn, and if the earnings are used for qualified higher educational expenses they are never taxed. Currently, New Jersey matches those federal tax advantages. Additionally, New Jersey currently allows $25,000 of NJBEST college savings to be excluded from a financial need evaluation of the student, and awards students who pursue higher education in New Jersey a scholarship of up to $1,500 for participating in the program.
Not specified
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Higher Education Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified